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Old 24th of July 2006 (Mon)   #1
Croasdail
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Default Horse Racing.... well - what works?

A few months ago I tried my hand at Horse Trials, this time were at the track. Here are some examples of of what I came up with, would love to know what you think worked and what doesn't. Were doing so learning here so your feedback is needed.

1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

6)

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Old 24th of July 2006 (Mon)   #2
Mike Bell
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Default Re: Horse Racing.... well - what works?

You asked for feedback. Numbers 1, 2 and 5 'worked' best for me.

1 is a great picture and a skilfull capture considering how fast the horses are moving across your field of view. The mud, the flying tails and the jockey's posture all convey the spirit and excitement of horse racing. A less busy background would perhaps have made it perfect IMHO.

2 is magnificent! Four huge powerful horses heading straight at you.

3 and 4 are good but not as special. The focus is just a tad too far back in 4. Picky aren't I?

5 is atmospheric - you have to admire the bravery of these little guys. It's just a shame the focus is not quite on his face!

6 is less powerful because your viewpoint is too high IMHO


Well done! Hope the feedback is useful.
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Old 24th of July 2006 (Mon)   #3
Saralonde
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Default Re: Horse Racing.... well - what works?

I like them a lot, really conveys the speed of these animals. #1 only bothers me a bit because I feel like he's going to run out of the frame; maybe there should be more space in front of him. Course, that's probably just me.
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Old 24th of July 2006 (Mon)   #4
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Default Re: Horse Racing.... well - what works?

I like them all, but especially like #4, since it must be really hard to get just a single horse and rider in a frame.
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Old 24th of July 2006 (Mon)   #5
MCStargirl
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Default Re: Horse Racing.... well - what works?

I like #4 as well. To me it shows the health and athleticism of the horse which is nice to see.
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Old 24th of July 2006 (Mon)   #6
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Default Re: Horse Racing.... well - what works?

Fantastic shots! I shot some steeple chase for a local paper this spring and recognize how difficult it is. Nice job! What lens did you use?
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Old 24th of July 2006 (Mon)   #7
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Default Re: Horse Racing.... well - what works?

Nice job,
I will be shooting some horse racing myself in the near future.
How close were you when taking these photos? I am wondering what lenses to use.

Thanks
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Old 24th of July 2006 (Mon)   #8
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Default Re: Horse Racing.... well - what works?

I havent' had a chance to shoot racing yet, so as usual I can't offer any critic above OMG! and uh-and-ah! I guess I would pretty much mirror Mike Bells thoughts. 2 REALLY just blows me away. and I really dig 5. I think you did an outstanding job for a first time w/racing...it's funny as I go back and look over the shots I realize you can see the other rider through the space of 2x's distance from the saddle !
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Old 24th of July 2006 (Mon)   #9
Croasdail
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Default Re: Horse Racing.... well - what works?

Hey all... sorry about 5 not being that sharp. I will have to look at it again as now on another machine it is looking really soft. My bad. I edited these on my traveling laptop which is very small and light - which is good for lugging around airports... but the smaller screen isn't ideal for editing images. I liked the relationship between the jockey and the owner... but it is really too soft.

As to equipment, most were shot with a 120-300 sigma with a 1.4x tc attached. The Turf racing shots are done with the 2x tc attached because it is an inside the normal track and getting good angles was a challenge. I went to the top of th grand stands for it to get above the rails. It really didn't work out as well as I would have liked.

Mike Bell - I agree with you on shot 3.... the middle horse is in a sort of ordinary stride taking away from the shot... could have been better. I do like 4. The highlights are slightly blown and editing them isn't an option on the road. I will look at it again on my home workstation when I return. I think that is lending it to looking out of focus... but thanks mike for the detailed response.

Thanks again every for the comments... much appreciated.
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Old 24th of July 2006 (Mon)   #10
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Default Re: Horse Racing.... well - what works?

2 is the shot for me.... side on shots although sharp and good... bit boring to be honest... Pic 2) the 4 coming towards you is a fantastic shot for composure alone IMHO
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Old 24th of July 2006 (Mon)   #11
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Default Re: Horse Racing.... well - what works?

Good stuff, Mark! Perfect colors and exposure plus excellent framing with the possible exeption of #4 which might look better with a bit more real estate in front of the horse. My fav is #5 -- not many race fans realize how much mud and dirt these guys eat nor how small they really are and this pic tells us! If that's the owner he's talking with I bet she'd love to have this pic.
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Old 25th of July 2006 (Tue)   #12
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Default Re: Horse Racing.... well - what works?

#2 is the show stopper for me Mark. Superb action...

I like the idea of the higher angle shots... you just need a cleaner background for it to work. The rails just don't help the image.

I've also got a bit of a thing about head-on horse-racing shots. For some reason I prefer them over the side-on ones... but that's just a matter of personal taste.

Overall a very good set. They serve to remind me that it's been a year or more since I last photographed the horses

Horse racing photography presents very limited opportunites for action shots for a lone shooter. There's an awful lot of waiting around and then the horses have come and gone in a matter of seconds. Remotes are the answer... it clearly explains why the likes of Bill Frakes use so many remotes when shooting a big race - http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/1198

---- Gavin

Last edited by gmen : 25th of July 2006 (Tue) at 03:17.
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Old 25th of July 2006 (Tue)   #13
Croasdail
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Default Re: Horse Racing.... well - what works?

It was one of those days.... I had my family with me again, up in NYC on business.... kept getting calls from my client.... and like Gavin said, my 4 year old was getting bored to death. It is 28 minutes of waiting, the the race starts which last less then 2 minutes, of which you have a grand total of 4-5 seconds to get the shots. I was luck to have my big zoom with me which gave me the chance to get maybe 10 shots per race... shoot.. recompose... shoot again... and then it was done. I have some good ideas on locations that work now, just wish I had the time to go back and really perfect the shooting from those locations. There is a workshop this fall with Dave Black on horse racing I am dying to go to.

... and Gavin... I was walking around with 3 camera bodies and complaining. I can even imagine setting up all those cameras for a 2 minute event the Bill Frakes does, what a chore that would be. But I am sure the results are worth it.

I think I will go back and redo number 4. There is a reason I cropped it that tight on the nose, I just need to see what it was and if there is some more realestate I can buy back on that one.
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Old 25th of July 2006 (Tue)   #14
gmen
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Default Re: Horse Racing.... well - what works?

Mark...

Have you seen this?

http://www.sportsshooter.com/special...rse/index.html

---- Gavin
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Old 25th of July 2006 (Tue)   #15
Photodawg1
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Default Re: Horse Racing.... well - what works?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmen
Mark...

Have you seen this?

http://www.sportsshooter.com/special...rse/index.html

---- Gavin
Awesome clip! Thanks!
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