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Old Apr 7, 2007, 8:05 PM   #1
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Thought it might be interesting to go take pictures of horses - it's been many years since I last owned one. Today was a very grey, cloudy day so the light was terrible. I thought the first couple of pictures I took outside looked a little blue, so changed the WB to cloudy. I started off right next to a ring and used the DA 50-200. The first thing I noticed was that jumping horses are like hurdlers - they take practice to get right, and I would need a whole lot more experience to get really good shots.

Taken outside, 125mm.
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 8:10 PM   #2
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Then I moved over to the inside ring. I forgot to change the white balance and most of the pictures I took inside have horrible color. It was also pretty dark, so I changed the camera to ISO 1600, but shutter speeds were still too slow with the DA 50-200. If I wanted to do this all the time, the first thing I would do is buy a camera with a faster lens. I tried to switch to the 300 f4, but it was too long.

This is full frame, straight out of the camera so you can see just how wrong the white balance was:
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 8:12 PM   #3
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Here is the same picture after adjusting the white balance in Lightroom, cropping and rotating it so that it's straight, running it through Neat Image for the noise, then sharpened. I thought it came out pretty well, considering.
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 8:16 PM   #4
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I think they turned out fine for your first try. I am sure like everything else the more often you do it the more keepers you will get.

TOTALLY WACKY roger
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 8:16 PM   #5
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As you can see from the un-retouched picture above, the camera was also underexposing.

This picture had much the same processing (WB adjustments, exposure compensation, cropping and rotating) without going through Neat Image. This is what I'm consistently getting now at 1600, not a band in sight. Lightening it introduces even more noise than it had originally.

As you can see 1/160 is not a fast enough shutter speed to deal with horses over fences.
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 8:19 PM   #6
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This should probably be a reject, but it shows that you can't expect much with shutter speeds of 1/100. I like the picture because its obvious that the fence is in focus.

By the way, this pony still had the fastest time when I left.
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 8:26 PM   #7
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Finally, I tried a couple of panning shots. Horses and riders aren't the best subject for this since they have moving parts. But I was pretty happy with this one - this is actually the best panning shot I've ever managed (usually everything is blurred).

I also noticed focusing problems but that could have been me rather than the lens. Next time I'll try continuous focus and see if I still get the same thing. I tended to prefocus on the fence and shoot when the horse came into view, and many shots showed the front of the horse to be slightly OOF, while the fence and the back of the horse (and the fence behind)in focus.

My conclusions were that you need a fast lens for inside horse shows, that a 70-200mm zoom lens would work very well,and a 70-300 could be useful for the far side of the ring. A 300 prime lens doesn't work at all. My K10 does have more in focus behind the focus point than in front, something to deal with at fast moving horse shows.
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 8:48 PM   #8
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From the showjumping Ive shot, ideally what you want is the frame you have in your second last shot - just facing towards you not away and with no movment blur - the legs need to be pulled up to its chest. So you need to anticipate the jump, and fire the shutter before its jumped so that you get it in the right position

Also, shooting indoors- try a fast portrait lens, like an 85/1.8 - it will let you shoot at around 1/500th @ iso 1600 - which should be good enough.
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 11:08 PM   #9
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They look pretty good to me, I don't see any problem with what you are doing at all.

Tom
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Old Apr 8, 2007, 12:02 AM   #10
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mtngal wrote:
Quote:
This should probably be a reject, but it shows that you can't expect much with shutter speeds of 1/100. I like the picture because its obvious that the fence is in focus.

By the way, this pony still had the fastest time when I left.
And so is the background so obviously the horse is in focus too... just moving to fast.

Interesting how often motion blur is confused with focus.

Like people who say IS has no value in motion.... well yes it does in stabelizing the surrounding frame elements... though maybe not the moving object itself.

Yet that motion in the stable frame could be a desireable effect, vs just a total blur.
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