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Thread: X-country

  1. #1

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    X-country

    Lots of sun on Sunday which made for shiny coats. This was a segment of a Horse Trial (Dressage, x-country and stadium jumping) that was held at a newly developed course set on a century+ farm property. Please excuse the sig on the side.


    X-country
    947Z0115 copy by M.J. Hencher, on Flickr

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: X-country

    Great capture exactly at the right moment... The choice of background is ver yeffective and provides separation from the horseperson. Her posture and head is perfect and what a beautiful horse...

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: X-country

    Quote Originally Posted by Maritimer1 View Post
    Please excuse the sig on the side.
    Mmmmmmm?

    Myra - Do you think it would benefit from a slight counter-clockwise rotation, to get that post at the left running parallel with the edge of the image? Also, I wondered if it could take a a slight reduction in exposure, or perhaps just a slight darkening up of the grass? It was obviously very bright.

    But, like Richard suggests, it's a super composition and you've nailed the focus beautifully.

  4. #4

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    Re: X-country

    Hello Myra,

    That's a good picture. However, I would like to give you few suggestions.

    I agree with Donald about exposure and brightness. I suggest a small reduction. The shadow shows that you took this picture around noon. At that time of the day the light is still harsh.
    The fence is small (around 0.8) and the strength developped by the horse is reduced. In terms of timing that's few millliseconds too late as the horse starts to go down.
    To give amplitude to your picture, I suggest you to not stand near the fence but to sit down on the floor. It will give artificially amplitude to the fence and to the jump.

    Horses still gives fun in photography

  5. #5

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    Re: X-country

    Myra if you authorize me, I can post an example of picture which will be certainly better than my rough english

  6. #6

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    Re: X-country

    Hello!

    Thank you for the feedback. Donald, that flag is actually crooked so the dilemna was to line it up and make everything else crooked or just let it go. I just let it go

    The grass. Green is my nemesis. For whatever reason, I seem to struggle with green. I tried different techniques, and in a couple of photo used the selection tool and curves to darken it a bit. In other photos, I played around with the white balance in ACR.

    Thierry, this was taken exactly around the time you mention. I had the sun over my shoulder and a bit to the right. (Have sun burn as proof ) All the jumps were on the small side. With this size, the photos that look good in the front still have the back legs on the ground. Do you find that happens a lot, too? Yes, please, post any examples you would like. Your photos are wonderful! I'll put another one up, too, and maybe you can critique it to see if the timing is better. Sitting down is a great idea. I did try it at another fence just for a change of angle. Thanks for reminding me that I should be doing it more often.

    Richard, this is a friend of mine who just started eventing and doing the Horse Trials a year ago. She's ridden for a long time, but this horse is better suited to this style of riding than her previous mounts. The horse LOVES to jump. The higher the better for him, but there is not many opportunties to go past training level around here. I will pass on your compliment to her

    Thanks!

  7. #7

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    Re: X-country

    Here are two taken at the top of the field about half an hour after the previous photo. I kept the shutter pressed to get two photos of this horse and rider pair. I think the grass looks better (darker). The sun was over my left shoulder here. Thierry, is the first photo preferable even thought the hind legs are on the ground or is there still time between the ground and the second shot? I wish there were more opportunities to practice the timing. Thanks!


    Take Off

    X-country
    947Z0169 copy web size Bay Mare by M.J. Hencher, on Flickr

    A split second later

    X-country
    947Z0170 copy web size ©BayMare by M.J. Hencher, on Flickr


    Settings for both photos: 1/1250 f/5.6 +1/3EV ISO 400 140mm (Not sure why the +1/3 EV is there as I don't remember setting it as such... Guess I did, though.)

  8. #8

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    Re: X-country

    hello Myra,

    the first one that you added is very good. Time of strength with the horse taking off. I recommend to remove a little bit the left part of the picture.

  9. #9

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    Re: X-country

    I suggest to cloan out the 2 people in the back ground

  10. #10
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: X-country

    Hi Myra,

    These are good shots, but again, not level I'm afraid.

    The mast in the background is almost certainly a good 'vertical' guide. (unless, being there, you know better )

    On both these shots and the very first, I suspect you may have rotated the shot/crop to get the jump horizontal (or parallel to the edge of the photo) - the problem is that it shouldn't be, due to the height of the capture and the angle you are to the jump with one side closer to you than the other.

    On the 'bright' grass in the very first shot, I think a simple exposure reduction, possibly coupled with a levels lift of the grey point, would do the trick.

    I'd defintely clone out the people in these latest ones and the radio mast (once you have used it to get the image vertical).

    Hope that helps,

  11. #11

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    Re: X-country

    Thanks for the comments! So, how do I get the exposure of the grass correct in camera without making the subject too dark? I know that sounds like a pretty basic question, but the practice seems to elude me.

  12. #12
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: X-country

    Quote Originally Posted by Maritimer1 View Post
    Thanks for the comments! So, how do I get the exposure of the grass correct in camera without making the subject too dark? I know that sounds like a pretty basic question, but the practice seems to elude me.
    I get the grass right and bring the rest up in PP - but I am assuming you are shooting RAW (for best results), not cropping significantly and use the Fill Light slider to ensure the shadows are not clipped.

    In Photoshop, I then use the Levels dialog to reset the 'grey' point from 1 to 1.2 or 1.3.
    Other people use the Curves dialog to achieve the same basic effect.

    In both cases, we are leaving the highlights alone and increasing the exposure of the mid-tones (and shadows to an extent).

    Here's one of Rebecca's I processed to print, so actually, for screen use, the black point is a bit too high (as you'll see if you view a histogram). The original of this was actually a jpg it had extensive PP to separate the subject from the background, looks ok in print, but viewed at 100% on screen you'll also see where I didn't do that close enough to the legs.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 24th June 2012 at 09:18 PM.

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