Originally Posted by JohnG
I'm curious why shoot at such a wide aperture, such a low ISO and low shutter speed? Was it to show more motion in the horses? Exposures are OK, although it's tough because you lose details in the horse to shadow compared to skin of riders. But the biggest issue is faces in the first 3 aren't sharp. I suspect motion blur playing a part as your shutter speeds are only 1/200-1/320. Also difficult with the shallow DOF. In lighting that good, crank up the ISO and use narrower app and still get faster shutters. Faster shutter and narrower app = sharper faces.
Also, watch your horizons. A number of these are a bit crooked. Easily fixed in post processig. My suggestion is to use vertical lines as your guide in-camera
In the end, if your intent was to show motion - you'll have to balance that with sharpness concerns. Unlike a racecar, the motion here isn't as linear so it is going to be tough I would think to strike a balance.
I bumped into a problem with higher ISO settings (>=1600) that I wanted to steer clear of. At higher ISO settings I was getting A LOT of noise in the out-of-focus woodgrain (in the background of some of the photos, but not these), and in trying to reduce the noise, I was losing all the detail in the horses' fur. I couldn't find an acceptable balance, so I limited the ISO to 1600
The shutter speed of 1/200 turned out to be too slow, despite the acceptable results I got from an earlier dry run. As it turns out, not many of the keepers used an Auto ISO setting over 800, but on previous days, with the same aperture and shutter speed, I was getting Auto ISO settings over 1600.
In context, the faces constitute a relatively small portion of the entire exposure, and they actually seem ok in the original, but in the reduced images I've posted here, I agree they're not altogether flattering.
Next time, I'll definately use a faster shutter speed (for motion blur) and a slightly smaller aperture (for DoF).
And, yes, I've always had trouble with keeping the camera level. I was really interested in the Pentax K7, because it can correct for that by leveling the image sensor, but I couldn't get the lens I needed.