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Thread: Barrel Race

  1. #1
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    Sherry

    Barrel Race

    Here are few pictures I took a couple weekends ago. I used my Nikon D80 with the 85mm lens. Yours comments would be greatly appreciated as I'm still learning and would love to improve. Thanks in advance...Sherry

    Barrel Race,Barrel Race,Barrel Race

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Barrel Race

    Hi Sherry, and welcome to the CiC forums from me, great to have you join us.

    Taking them in turn and offering constructive criticism;
    #1 was shot at 1/800, f3.2 iso200 and rather blurred and possibly needing a minor clockwise twist, I'd say not a keeper this one

    #2 was shot at 1/800, f3.5 iso200 - and beautifully sharp, plus good separation of subject and background with that aperture choice this one is my favourite

    #3 was shot at 1/800, f4.5 iso200; again pretty sharp, but definitely worth levelling, as that would emphasize the angle the horse is at in the turn

    As a series, the biggest problem is they are all about a stop over exposed, blowing the highlights and I'd deal with that by going up in shutterspeed. The (typical) bright trailers and cars in the background at these kind of events, rarely help us though but you've made a good choice to keep the lens fairly open. The composition/crops are all pretty good too. I appreciate the light was harsh and not from the best of angles.

    The other thing I noticed is that you have posted them all at a large size, often, downsizing and sharpening after that step, before uploading (at say 1200 wide) can help 'sharpen up' the softer ones.

    What software are you using?

    We have many equine photographers here at CiC, but I'd probably offer Thierry up as the most accomplished, he shoots at longer focal lengths and wider apertires to get even better separation of subject and background, I must try that myself, or as close as my kit allows me to emulate

    Hope that helps,

  3. #3
    Rasbury's Avatar
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    Re: Barrel Race

    Quote Originally Posted by Sdoran6219 View Post
    Here are few pictures I took a couple weekends ago. I used my Nikon D80 with the 85mm lens. Yours comments would be greatly appreciated as I'm still learning and would love to improve. Thanks in advance...Sherry

    Barrel Race,Barrel Race,Barrel Race
    All in all they're not bad bad photo's.#1 and#3 are pretty sharp on the main subject but they could us a shallower DoF to throw the truck and trailer more out of focus .#3 could also use some straightening on the horizion.I do like the subject matter and it inspires me to go to the local horseman's club and try my hand at taking photo's of some barrel racers and other rodeo action.Looking forward to seeing more of your photo's.
    Ron

  4. #4

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    Re: Barrel Race

    Hi Sherry.
    Equine photography is one genre that I really love and during the English Summer I am usually at Polo Matches most weekends.

    First well done for getting the shots that you managed, really good action shots.

    Dave has already gone through all the "technical stuff" which I was also going to post when I first saw these so I will not repeat what he has said.

    I will assume that you know a bit about Barrel Racing and you should use this knowledge when attempting to shoot this sport. for example I played Polo for nearly 15 years and am, or was, a qualified Polo umpire so I can "see" where the action is about to occur. You need to do the same, that is, know what is about to happen and where.
    In the US Barrel Racing is done "Western style" riding and all turns are preceded by a sliding stop, if I remember correctly, so you need to know where the point is for the start of the slide and get yourself in a position to catch the slide before the barrel "gets in the way" and set your focus point so that you do not miss the action and get a sharp shot.
    Also try to darndest to get in a position where the background is not a distraction. I suspect that if you had gone further to the left you would have missed the horse truck and got more of a shot down the course to the previous barrel.

    Getting the lean of the horse in #3 really makes this shot.

    Horses are all about power and this is what I believe you need to capture whether it is show jumping, cross country, polo, or barrel racing.

    Do you have your camera set for single shot or multi shot??. In the slide try panning and squeeze of about three/four shots while still panning then pick the best of the set.

    #2.. if you had been panning and squeezing of three/four shots then you may have avoided the large white post which cuts out the front leg and the muscles of the horse.

    Anyway these are just my suggestions as I am sure there will be others along here who will have a lot more to add to help you go out there next weekend and catch some great keepers.

    Well done for what you have posted.

    David

  5. #5
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    Re: Barrel Race

    Thanks Dave. Really appreciate the contructive criticism. On #3 this might be a stupid question, but I'm not sure what you mean by levelling. I will also make sure they are correct in size when I upload. I was just pleased that I got them uploaded. I use Element 9 for the software and I'm learning that as well. I have seen some of Thierry photos and will have to look up some more his posts.

  6. #6
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    Re: Barrel Race

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidGee View Post
    Hi Sherry.
    Equine photography is one genre that I really love and during the English Summer I am usually at Polo Matches most weekends.

    First well done for getting the shots that you managed, really good action shots.

    Dave has already gone through all the "technical stuff" which I was also going to post when I first saw these so I will not repeat what he has said.

    I will assume that you know a bit about Barrel Racing and you should use this knowledge when attempting to shoot this sport. for example I played Polo for nearly 15 years and am, or was, a qualified Polo umpire so I can "see" where the action is about to occur. You need to do the same, that is, know what is about to happen and where.
    In the US Barrel Racing is done "Western style" riding and all turns are preceded by a sliding stop, if I remember correctly, so you need to know where the point is for the start of the slide and get yourself in a position to catch the slide before the barrel "gets in the way" and set your focus point so that you do not miss the action and get a sharp shot.
    Also try to darndest to get in a position where the background is not a distraction. I suspect that if you had gone further to the left you would have missed the horse truck and got more of a shot down the course to the previous barrel.
    I've been been barrel racing for 10 years now, but I use to ride jumpers. Did that for many years. I've never been to polo match. They have them in Aiken, SC. I'm going to have to make it a point to go one. I try to take pictures at the 1st barrel and the 2nd. When you go to the big races they only take pictures at the 2nd.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidGee View Post
    Getting the lean of the horse in #3 really makes this shot.

    Horses are all about power and this is what I believe you need to capture whether it is show jumping, cross country, polo, or barrel racing.

    Do you have your camera set for single shot or multi shot??. In the slide try panning and squeeze of about three/four shots while still panning then pick the best of the set.
    I have my camera set at multi shot. When I first got my camera, I was afraid to take it out of auto mode. Now I switch it up and try to do different settings.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidGee View Post
    #2.. if you had been panning and squeezing of three/four shots then you may have avoided the large white post which cuts out the front leg and the muscles of the horse.

    Anyway these are just my suggestions as I am sure there will be others along here who will have a lot more to add to help you go out there next weekend and catch some great keepers.
    Thank you, I have a race in couple weeks, so I will be applying all that I have learned on this post.
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 12th May 2011 at 06:34 AM. Reason: fix quoting

  7. #7
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    Re: Barrel Race

    Ron,

    You should find a barrel race in FL. Not sure where you are in FL, but I know the NBHA (National Barrel Horse Association) has some districts there. Thanks for the help, I will work on the DoF at the next race.

  8. #8
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    Re: Barrel Race

    Sherry,

    What Dave meant by leveling was straighten your horizon. I took the liberty of doing so to your image so you can see the difference it makes. (If you prefer, I will delete) It emphasizes the lean of the horse and rider. I also cropped a little to get rid of a little of that trailer.

    I also did a gradient mask on the background to make that trailer a little less bright. I didn't spend a lot of time on it but I think you'll get the idea.

    Looks like it was a fun event, lucky you to have been able to see it up close and personal!

    Yvonne

    1zxxxkw-reworked.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Donald; 12th May 2011 at 12:56 PM. Reason: Posted image inline

  9. #9
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    Re: Barrel Race

    Yvonne,

    Thank you. I now understand what Dave meant. This has actually helped me alot. I'm going to see if I can do this and use yours has a reference. I was very please to get this picture. The person riding in that photo is a really good friend and had a bad spill on this horse last year. She is now finally getting comfortable with horse now.

    Thanks to everyone to who has helped me in this post. I will definitely be putting more pictures up.

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