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Old Jun 1, 2010, 4:36 PM   #11
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TCav,

Does sound like tough conditions. I thought it looked like light coming through some open doors which adds to the trouble with the lights.

Looks like you are getting very good results based on what you are facing. If you do tweak those few setting you mentioned it will be interesting to see the effects. Good luck!
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Old Jun 1, 2010, 5:47 PM   #12
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When you say you're losing them to shallow DOF, have you tried recovering them with some simple postprocessing? I've had a go with some of the ones you've posted here and can post the results if it's OK.
Ok with me, but the ones I've posted here are reduced versions of some of the best. The ones I'm talking about are where the face of the rider is in focus but the face of the horse isn't, or vice versa. Any attempt to sharpen one or the other produces unacceptable results especially with the fur, mane and tack.
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Old Jun 1, 2010, 6:17 PM   #13
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This is the approximate layout of the arena. I'm the red dot. The blue areas are where the subjects aren't backlit by the sunlight coming through the open doors, and the exposure system has recovered. The Distance 1 line is where they become too tall to capture in portrait mode, Distance 2 is where they're too tall for shooting landscape, and Distance 3 is where they're too far away. Most of the shots I've posted were shot in area 2 between Distance 2 and Distance 3. Area 3 is a waste because the subjects are further away from any light, and suddenly appear brightly lit in the doorway, so I don't even bother there.
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Old Jun 1, 2010, 7:20 PM   #14
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Looks like you are getting very good results based on what you are facing. If you do tweak those few setting you mentioned it will be interesting to see the effects. Good luck!
Thank you.
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Old Jun 1, 2010, 9:43 PM   #15
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TCav nice photos especially for the conditions you were shooting in. 4,000 per day WOW!!!!! I am going to be shooting a CMN Telethon all weekend long might get 2,500 pictures tops.

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Old Jun 2, 2010, 1:01 AM   #16
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I'm no expert but I can imagine the conditions are dificult. Just tracking a horse with the camera at the speeds they're moving must give the camera a hard time with the changing light levels. Just a quick thought from your diagram - would it be better to stand by one of the doors on the long side so you would effectively have two 'Area 2' to work with?

I'm not sure if these are too sharp but they've just had a very light pseudoHDR which I used to get a more local sharpening effect rather than doing it equally to the whole image, and a bit of additional colour balance to try and match the lighting between them. I picked two with the rider coming towards the camera because they looked like the DOF was most difficult.



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Old Jun 2, 2010, 2:23 AM   #17
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TCav nice photos especially for the conditions you were shooting in. 4,000 per day WOW!!!!! I am going to be shooting a CMN Telethon all weekend long might get 2,500 pictures tops.
Good luck with that. Will you be able to post any of your shots here?
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 2:52 AM   #18
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I'm no expert but I can imagine the conditions are dificult. Just tracking a horse with the camera at the speeds they're moving must give the camera a hard time with the changing light levels.
Of the roughly 4,000 shots I took, about a quarter are trashed because of chopped off body parts and problems with autoexposure, autofocus and auto white balance. Panning while the subject passes in front of an open door throws the camera for a loop, but my Nikon D90 recovers quickly enough (for the most part) that I get a fair number of keepers. I lose about another quarter because of motion blur and depth of field problems. Then I go through these keepers for footfalls, horse and rider position, and facial expressions (some of which are not pretty, let me tell you!) I'm left with about 100 that I'm very pleased with. But the riders want to see them all (well, the ones I haven't trashed anyway), specifically so they can see problems in their position. So it's not just the pretty pictures they want to see. They want to see what the judges would see, so they can correct problems before the judges have a chance to see them. Dressage is one of those sports where the judging is subjective, and you never know what will cost you a point or two here and there.

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Just a quick thought from your diagram - would it be better to stand by one of the doors on the long side so you would effectively have two 'Area 2' to work with?
I tried that once. Much of the time, the horses were too close, and it involved me popping in and out, and that makes the riders nervous if not the horses. This is supposed to be an exercise in communication between the horse and rider, and distractions are unwelcome.

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I'm not sure if these are too sharp but they've just had a very light pseudoHDR which I used to get a more local sharpening effect rather than doing it equally to the whole image, and a bit of additional colour balance to try and match the lighting between them. I picked two with the rider coming towards the camera because they looked like the DOF was most difficult.
Interesting. What app did you use to do this?
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 2:58 AM   #19
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For the PseudoHDR I use my own program - it's free and link is in my signature if you'd like to try it. To keep a natural look but pick out the texture in the horses I used the settings:

Quality Boost: On
Detail:High
Strength:Least
Contrast/Saturation: Original

The slight colour adjustment was in Paintshop Pro but just about any paint package will do it.
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 9:38 AM   #20
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Hewan:
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