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Old Apr 19, 2009, 4:52 PM   #1
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i went to watch my girlfriend do a cross country trial again today, so i took my camera along again. im quite pleased with the results, im not sure if the colours need a little boosting or not, i think maybe the sun washed them out a bit, what do you think?



this time i tried to get closer and blur the background more than the last time i went (after reading johnG's tips on sports shooting)




i took quite a few pictures at this fence, and the camera really struggled in the difficult lighting conditions.




the only lense i used was the DA 55-300 which i thought worked pretty well



i quite like this candid shot of the tired rider and horse


i think i learned a lot today about positioning yourself in the right place to get the best light and shadows not just the best position for action.
thanks for looking


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Old Apr 19, 2009, 5:47 PM   #2
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Some really good shots there Dave,
that 55-300 is a darn nice lens!
GW:bye:
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Old Apr 19, 2009, 9:44 PM   #3
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Your first one is really good from a lighting/exposure point of view. I won't mention about the rider looking down (they say to keep your head up and your eyes looking forward). The second one is very difficult - you probably should have dialed in some -Ev. All that dark green and dark horse seems to have confused the light meter, though the scene is probably beyond a digital sensor's capability. One book I read suggested always underexposing green. I can see why you love the last one - it's so typical for an eventer. Your friend's horse looks like an absolute doll, one who really enjoys cross-country. I really like your series, even with the lighting limitations (were these around mid-day? The shadows look pretty straight-down).
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Old Apr 19, 2009, 10:06 PM   #4
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Very nice shots. I really like how you've captured the action. In terms of whether the color saturation should be increased, this is a difficult choice. The green do look a bit washed out, but the colors of the horse and rider look spot on to me. It's very easy to over-do saturation and end up with overly vivid colors.
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Old Apr 20, 2009, 6:43 AM   #5
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thanks, yes it was mid-day and the sun, for once was quite bright.

the camera really struggled under the trees, the light changed so quickly, i started out using P mode set to hi-speed and spot metering, but the results were very dark, after much fiddling i ended up using aperture priority and centre weighted metering which was a surprise but it worked, i also turned on the dynamic range which on the screen didnt seem to make a difference but on my computer the shadows looked less dark.

i think next time i need to walk the course the day before at the same time of day and see which fences will work best, maybe take my camera and take test shots.

what was pleasing for me were theofficial photographers, they had a tent set up where riders could view and purchase the photos afterwards, so i went and had a nosey round, surprisingly they didnt have anything better than i had, in fact minelooked better, even if i do say so myself lol. ok that probably just means they are bad photographers, not that im a good one.

just as a point of interest, the cameras they were using were a nikon D70 and a Canon 450D not sure what lenses they had on though.
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Old Apr 20, 2009, 7:37 AM   #6
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Kaz,
Whatever you did worked out pretty well! Shadow with bright sunlight is really hard to do no matter what equipment you use. Have you tried going fully manual? I've taken some shots of a spot in full auto, checking what the camera chooses and then use that as a baseline. Then I take some more shots of the same spot adjusting the aperture and the shutter speed until I find an exposure combo I like. I do the same sort of thing with focus. When I need to get a moving target I don't like to trust the camera's auto focus because no matter how fast it is you can miss some good shots with focus lag. I focus at the spot where the action is going to be, in the case of a race you can predict it pretty well, and then when the subject gets to that point I fire.
In any case the shots you took look great on my screen. So as I said, whatever you did worked out nicely!

Glenn
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Old Apr 20, 2009, 7:41 AM   #7
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Nice series!
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Old Apr 20, 2009, 7:55 AM   #8
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kazuya wrote:
Quote:
what was pleasing for me were theofficial photographers, they had a tent set up where riders could view and purchase the photos afterwards, so i went and had a nosey round, surprisingly they didnt have anything better than i had, in fact minelooked better, even if i do say so myself lol. ok that probably just means they are bad photographers, not that im a good one.

just as a point of interest, the cameras they were using were a nikon D70 and a Canon 450D not sure what lenses they had on though.
Doesn't surprise me. Event photography has more to do with business skills than with photography skill. People will buy from the 'official' photographers because they offer onsite printing. Having said that - the fact the 'official' photographers are shooting with a D70 and 450D tells you they're not very successful or are just starting out. Likely they were simply involved with the sport and recognized a niche market. What you've noticed though just bears out the fact that Photography still requires a photographer. You still have to know where to set up, what types of shots to take, how to adjust for difficult lighting and how to consistantly get the good shots. That's why online forums are so great. In a vacuum these two photographers have no peer review of their product - no critique on what could be better or how to get better. Quite a few people who buy dslrs are flustered on how much effort they have to put in to actually learn photography before they get good sports photos. They simply expect a DSLR to be a magic point-and-shoot.

I can't imagine trying to figure it all out by trial and error. In the end though, if they're offering onsite printing and no one else is doing it at events the riders compete in then these two will make money.

Again, nice series.
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Old Apr 20, 2009, 11:17 AM   #9
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Hello,

Wow. Amazing captures.

Timing seems impeccable. IMHO.

Take care, yours truly,
Glen


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Old Apr 20, 2009, 3:15 PM   #10
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The first image is a winner. The exposure looks fine to me. If you want to add a little punch to the sky, you may want to try is a UV filter. It helps a little bit with keeping the sky blue. The effect is not as much as a CP filter but it does a good job and easier to use.
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