Panning – bringing dynamics into the photo

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.

A young rider turning into the next fence
A young rider turning into the next fence
Jumping over the fence
Jumping over the fence

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…

Blurry photo - just looks like a phot with too long shutter time.
Blurry photo – just looks like a photo with too long shutter time.

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:

Panning properly. The rider is sharp, but the rest of the photo is blurry to convey movement
Panning done properly. The rider is sharp, but the rest of the photo is blurry to convey movement

Of course, I had to train on panning over an obstacle as well. That proved even more difficult:

Another photo of a rider that is just blurry....
Another photo of a rider that is just blurry….

After some practice, I started to get the hang of it.

Panning done properly. The head of the rider is sharp, but the rest is blurry
Panning done properly. The head of the rider is sharp, but the rest is blurry

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

The outdoor season is starting up again

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 pageThere 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.


Planning the next obstacle
Planning the next obstacle
Going over
Going over
Perfect weather
Perfect weather


Let's go

Let’s go



Scott Kelby World Wide Photo Walk 2013

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”.

Can you escape?
Can you escape?

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.

Fall over Nidelven
Fall over Nidelven

As usual, there were also a lot of little details to be found in shop windows and the like

_5M37661As 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:

Having an opinion
Having an opinion

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.

Cable Drum
Cable Drum





Lego day at work (again)

This weekend we had a lego day at work. Just as with last year’s event, the company brought in tons of lego for kids to play and build with.

Help me, I'm drowning
Help me, I’m drowning

In addition to the large amounts of regular lego, we also got to play around with Mindstorm robots. One of the competitions was to see how close you could get to a lego man without toppling him.

Who can get closest
Who can get the closest

Another challenge involved a lot of programming to get the robot to complete a series of tasks.

Programming Mindstorm robots
Programming Mindstorm robots

As usual, the creativity displayed by the kids was mind-blowing.

Checking the plane before flight
Checking the plane before flight
Growing city
Growing city
Lots of action
Lots of action




Testing new gear :-)

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.

Going over
Going over

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.

Where is the next jump?
Where is the next jump?

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…





Scott Kelby World Wide Photo Walk

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…

What’s happening here?

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.

No Smoking!!
The evil eye

And by careful timing, it was also possible to get some landscape shots…

Heavy lifting

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…

Trash art
Trash art detail – can you spot the little camera?
Say no to the materialist patriarchy’s attempt to commercialize our childhood!!

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

Sommerspranget 2012

To all my English readers, my most sincere apologies. This post is for the local horse jumping competition scheduled for this weekend. A more thorough English post will follow.

Her ligger bildene fra Sommerspranget 2012 ved Reppe Ridesenter: Dag 1 og dag 2


Min talentfulle medfotograf Sigrid Bergquist tok også bilder: Dag 1 og dag 2.

Her er bilder fra tidligere sprangstevner ved Reppe:

Vårspretten 2012: Dag 1 / Dag 2
Vårspretten 2011: Dag 1 / Dag 2


The soccer game

Photography is simple. It is just a matter of being in the right place at the right time

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:

Speed…. I. Am. Speed….

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.

Rough going

The second shot conveys the intensity of the game. You can clearly see the white player struggle with a bunch of blue ones.

Celebration and disappointment

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.

As usual, more photos can be found on my Flickr page

Beauty Camp


My girls are attending a summer camp at the local riding school this week, and yesterday they had a beauty camp for the horses…

Stars, but no stripes

A lot of planning had gone into deciding the styling, and they were full of anticipation before camp started yesterday morning.


Together with all the other girls (and one boy) they spent the day grooming their horses and making sure that they did look their best….


The horses were patient throughout the whole ordeal…


As usual, more photos can be found on my Flickr set

Dressage training

The last post about Reppe Riding school activities are about the internal dressage training event.

The Dutch Frieser Lars van de Zuiderwaard in action

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.

Lars van de Zuiderwaard and his rider in action….

The rest of the photos are found at my Flickr account

I hope that next time, I’ll something else than horse photography to write about…