Photo taken at the last fence in the ladies race at Wadebridge in December. F8 @ 1/1000 ISO 500, 100mm focal length, IS off, subject distance 20.6m, partial metering, single central AF point, AI servo, focusing approximately at the saddle of the leading horse, having tracked since the horse came into view.
At the moment I'm trying to master how best to capture the action. I tend to use an aperture between f4 and f8 where possible, with ISO starting at 400 and increasing to 800 as necessary, dropping to 1600 only if the light is very poor.
I've tried manually focusing in the middle of the 32 foot wide (length), 5 foot wide (width) fence, but can't predict accurately where the horses will jump and if itís a big field it can be in the middle and at both ends, and the tend to land approx 12 feet in front of the fence. The best images are either as the where the horse is diagonal across the frame Ė i.e just before they land. I've tried auto focusing, but from shooting angles of 0-45 degrees I only getting a couple of seconds to lock on because of the 'wing fences' down the side of the jump block the AF tracking. I can track them from a front on track side shooting position, but that results in a sharper, because I can also get away with a shutter speed as low as 1/50, but a less satisfactory composition.
I think next time Iím going to try for a depth of field of approximately 30 foot, and manually focus about 4-5 feet in front of the middle of the fence, which by my calculations should mean I get most of the fence and landing area in the zone of acceptable focus, and just have to adjust my shooting position and aperture as appropriate. Any other suggestions are welcome.
Iím not sure what happened with the resizing here, but it looks like something has gone wrong with either the resizing or the sharpening (USM: 200, 1.0, 20)
Tags: Photo journalism
Sports and action