Yesterday I was at the Hestehoven (coltsfoot) show jumping event nearby. Having taken thousands of show jumping photos over the year, I felt it was time to learn something new.
Although I have always been satisfied with these kind of photos, and especially their clarity, I wanted to start taking other photos that conveyed the speed and intensity og show jumping. I had wanted to try panning for a while, and finally got the opportunity.
Panning, if done wrong, just gives a blurry picture. And I had a lot of those…
But if done right, some parts of the photo is clear (typically the main subject) and the rest is blurry. With cars or boats, getting the movement right is not that challenging… The challenge comes with getting the head of the rider or horse sharp while they are moving erratically across the field…
After a lot of practice, I started to get the hang of it:
Of course, I had to train on panning over an obstacle as well. That proved even more difficult:
After some practice, I started to get the hang of it.
It was a fun day at the event, but I notice that my “hit ratio” (the rate of acceptable photos against total photos) dropped from 1 in 5 to 1 in 100. So I guess I need to train more…
The rest of the photos from Hestehoven are found on my Flickr page
Recently, I started to learn more about flash photography. Especially the use of off-camera flash. I decided I wanted to try this with the horses at the local stable, where the girls readily volunteered their horses as models.
Technically, this is not the most challenging shots. I created a 4×4 meter grid and positioned a flash in each corner. After a few experiments, the settings were OK and we were ready to start shooting.
But if the technical stuff was easy, it was another thing completely to get the horses to cooperate. They did not want to stand still in their little square, and tried to run off all the time. We got some real exercise chasing them in the riding hall…
But after some adjustments we became quite efficient (or is it effective…), where we would have multiple horses waiting and one horse “in the box”
All in all, it was a great few hours where we had a lot of fun…
The rest of the portraits can be found on my Flickr page
I love to photograph of show jumping, and must have taken thousands of photos over the past few years. Apparently, the riders appreciate my efforts as well, as I am approaching 300.000 photo views on my Flickr page. There is a lot of preparation and especially post processing involved, so for each hour on the course I spend one hour in post processing.
The main reason for taking all these photos is to practice my photography hobby. I also have two daughters that ride, and as they are starting to compete, I want to take great photos of them and their horses.
This winter has been a strange one in Trondheim where I live. We have had almost no snow (and we usually get a lot) and spring came early. So last weekend the outdoor competition season kicked off with the show jumping competition at Øysand. I packed my trusty old 7D and my almost brand new Sigma 300 f/2.8, hitched the horse trailer to my car and headed off.
The weather was perfect for action photography, sunny but with a slight veil resulting in sharp without excessive contrast.
In a later post (to be written soon) I will try to describe how I work when I photograph show jumping (outdoors). In the meantime, you can enjoy a few photos below. The rest of the photos are found on my Flickr set from the event.