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
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.
Today I attended the 6th annual Scott Kelby World Wide Photo Walk in Trondheim. Like last year, we spent about two hours walking around in the city, and like last year I spent too much time on the first part of walk, and could not fully explore the final parts. I guess some things never change 🙂
Since I knew a bit more about what I got into, I had mentally prepared better this time, and was able to focus more on grabbing shots with potential while walking, knowing that I could sort and choose when I got back to my laptop.
The first two photos are taken at Bakklandet, the old part of Trondheim. Known for its picturesque houses and lots of details, it is a photographic heaven of opportunities. However, I had already been there and done that so I had to look outside my “norm”.
I had brought the “big stopper” to take some photos of the river and the docks along the side. Note how the leaves floating in the river creates small stripes in the water.
As usual, there were also a lot of little details to be found in shop windows and the like
As we passed over the river and back into the city centre, we could hear shouting. and went to investigate. It was two groups of demonstrators shouting at each other:
After watching the demonstration for some time, and seeing that it would not lead to a full-blown riot (how disappointing… 🙂 ), we headed over to Solsiden to meet the other photo walk participants. There I spent some time exploring the old crane and machinery before heading in for pizza.
My photo bag is getting pretty full… But there is always room for more! Just before the summer I bought myself a nice holiday present, the Sigma 300mm f/2.8. I have a 70-200mm from earlier, and headed out to test the new lens at a local horse jumping competition.
It took some time to get acquainted with the new lens, but after a while I started to get the hang of it.
I used it on my 7D body, which made it a 480 mm f/2.8 lens… I noticed that I got very close to my subjects… When I have used a 70-200 mm before, I have also gotten close, but tended to zoom out as the riders got closer, but on a fixed 300mm I just followed them through the jump and hoped for the best.
After taking a lot of shots, I see that I get about the same hit rate with my 300 as my 70-200. But since I had to position myself carefully along the fence, I could not use multiple jumps to get at least one good shot of each rider. So, if I have to be certain that I get at least one good shot, I will probably stay with my 70-200 for a while. At the same time, the shots I got were really good, so I hope that with some more training maybe I can improve my hit rate…
Last week was the Scott Kelby World Wide Photo Walk and I participated at the walk in Trondheim. It was great fun, especially to meet up with other photographers. Even if we have a photo club at work, it is always nice to meet other local enthusiasts.
We walked from the city centre and out through an industrial harbour area before returning through Svartlamon (link is in Norwegian only). Svartlamon is an area for experimentation in different forms of societal organization.
Walking through the industrial area, there were a lot of motives. The challenge was how to avoid all the other photographers…
That made “landscape” photography difficult, even it there was a lot of motives. On the other hand, industrial areas also contain a lot of opportunities for details and such.
And by careful timing, it was also possible to get some landscape shots…
Svartlamon, on our back, was a totally different experience. It was filled with street art and political statements. And sometimes it was difficult to see what was what…
All in all, it was great fun 🙂 I look forward to next year already! And great thanks to Trøndelag Fotoklubb for arranging the photo walk! More of the photos from the walk can be found on my Flickr page
And of course with the right equipment at the right settings. And doing that takes an awful lot of training… Last night we had a workshop in the photo club where I work (Statoil Photo Club Middle Norway). The first part was a course in sports photography given by Richard Sagen, the award winning photographer in our local newspaper. He lectured on what to look for and how to work when photographing events such as a soccer game or ski race.
Afterwards we headed over to Lerkendal, the local soccer stadium where Rosenborg play their home games. The match was against Viking and is a much anticipated game during the season.
We were given a task to deliver afterwards:
Two action photos that shows the intensity of the game (duels, cut-downs and more)
One journalistic shot that has a context and can be used in a newspaper story
One experimental shot with more freedom…
Photographing the game was pretty intense (even if the game itself was boring). There was a lot of situations that could be crucial to the news story, so the finger was constantly on the shutter release button, and memory cards flew by (I shot approx 2100 photos during the game).
As my action contributions, I chose these two photos:
The first photo is a general action photo, and photographically is one of the better shots. The background is fairly clean, it shows action and the composition is satisfactory.
The second shot conveys the intensity of the game. You can clearly see the white player struggle with a bunch of blue ones.
The journalistic contribution is taken about 30 seconds before full-time. The home team was down 0-1, and suddenly managed to break through and score with just seconds of the game left. The home player (in white) is overjoyed, the visiting player is just pissed off and the goalie is still on his knees. You can also see the ball on the far left side, showing that this is in fact a goal, and a celebration. The journalistic impact of such as shot is great, as it supports the story with a photo taken just at the right moment.
And last but not least, the experimental one:
With the rather restricted movements we were allowed, there wasn’t that many opportunities to be creative, especially since we had to pay attention to the game at all times. However, looking through the shots afterwards, I remembered the lady sitting just behind me and her wide range of facial emotions. Individually they aren’t that great, but combined into a triptych they convey the intensity of emotions often seen among sports fans.
All in all, it was a great event. I learned a lot from Richard, and the opportunity to practice afterwards was just fantastic.
The last post about Reppe Riding schoolactivities are about the internal dressage training event.
I got there a bit late so I didn’t get photos of everyone, but as always it was fun to watch riders and horses in action. The pace was much slower, so I had better time to select good vantage points for photos.