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Point to point racing image

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This image was taken using a canon 400d with a canon 70-210mm F4 lens at F8, the zoom at 107mm and shutter speed of 1/1000, manually pre-focused on the centre (top of the advertsing banner - the horses jumped further left than anticipated) using a single central AF point, and then switching the lens to manual focus. The camera was in aperature priority mode, with the ISO at 800 to keep the shutter speed at around 1/800. The metering was in exposure mode and no exposure compensation was applied. The image was the fourth in the sequence, using continuous shooting, and I was still zooming out from the original 210mm which was too tight for a previous image in the sequence.

The weather was sunny with broken clouds. I'd set the white balance manually using a white card (temperature of 5050).

No post shooting changes have been made to the image.

The aim of the image was to capture the action of the racing, by freezing the horses jupming the fence mid race. I would have prefered to have composed the image to exclude more sky and space to the left (leaving enough for the horses to run into) and to have the focal point on the nearest horse.

Camera:Canon EOS 400D
Lens:Canon 70-210mm f4
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Title:Point to point racing image
Username:LensYews LensYews
Uploaded:14 Apr 2009 - 11:24 PM
Tags:Sports / action
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
jimmypaton
14 Apr 2009 - 11:38 PM

very good capture
jimmy

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8769 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1596 Constructive Critique Points
16 Apr 2009 - 1:10 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Hello, Stephen, and welcome to EPZ. It's so good to have all the technical details that you have provided, from which it is obvious that you know what you are doing, and have carefully prepared for this shot. Had you considered a larger aperture in order to blur the background and spectators more? It can't be easy to get the composition perfect in a shot like this, but at least both horses are within the frame. There is, however, the back leg of another horse bottom right, which could be cloned or cropped out. If I were to edit this, I would also remove the telegraph wires from the sky. I might also remove the advertising poster. You have good space in front of the horses, but I'd like to have seen more grass at the bottom becaue it's part of their course. You might not have had a choice, but a vantage point without the background vehicles would obviously have been better. A fine achievement and a good image with which to start your portfolio.
Pamela.

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LensYews
LensYews  51300 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
16 Apr 2009 - 2:42 PM

Thanks Pamela, I had been using the lense wide open at previous events (F4), but after running it through some test shots decided anything below F8 was a little soft for my liking, and with anything above F8 slowing the shutter speed too much to freeze the action, I decided to stick to F8 for the day. As you say I ended up with sharper images, but less impact due to the background distractions. I was also somewhat restricted in my vantage point, due to the unusually large number of people at the meeting (it was Bank Holiday Monday), and wasn't able to get the position I wanted to be in (about 20 feet further left and on a short focal distance) to take the images. Thanks for the post processing tips, at the moment I'm trying to concentrate on getting the image as close to he final version in camera as possible, with a view on eventually offering on-site sales (hopefully one day, when I feel my skills are at a consistent and saleable level) at the event, which would allow minimal editing time and by a third party. But the editing tips are useful for any post event editing I might undertake

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