Back Modifications (3)
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Hi, please could someone tell me what am doing wrong and what to do the next time. I want the legs in focus as well as a sharper image. Pleaseeeeeee help an old woman.

This was taken on a sunny day

iso 100

Tags: Portraits and people Sports and action

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


Briwooly 12 452 5 England
19 May 2011 9:59PM
Hello Tracey personally I would up the ISO to 400 and try to get the shutter speed up to 500+ the legs are not out of focus but blurred by movement, Hope this helps


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Tooth 13 5.8k 227 Ireland
20 May 2011 1:59AM
Bri's right, not a lot you're doing just need a faster shutter speed if you want to get the whole horse frozen in time. The crucial thing re focus is that at the very least the eyes need to be sharp, and no problem there.

To get up to 1/500 second you can either open the aperture but it's quite wide open already at F5 - the focus gets more critical if you open it any wider. So the ISO is your other option. It's rarely you need to use 100 ISO on a bright day, and most modern cameras can cope with much higher ISO's in bright conditions, so yes as Bri says up it to 400 or more.

I do a fair bit of this kind of stuff, and do find, as is the case here, that 1/200 will only just freeze most of a side-on trotting horse, but you do need the 1/500 to freeze everything especially the feet.

Having said the above technicalities, just a few more points...there's something to be said for leaving just the hooves with a bit of motion blur, gives a sense of motion, as long as it's well controlled...

And on a good point, you've done really well here to get a good uncluttered background, they can be hard to find in situations like this.

Final horsey point...if my wife was here I'd ask her about the position of the legs and hooves, she can get really worked up about that..if your camera has a burst mode (several shots in quick succession), it can be good to use this, and choose the shot that has the legs/hooves in the most aesthetic arrangement (for instance here with the rear hooves very slightly separated)

Nice work, would love to see more...

Stephen (a horse widow photographer Smile )
davetac Plus
9 43 2 United Kingdom
20 May 2011 3:17PM
I agree with both comments. An ISO of 400 or more would indeed bring the shutter speed up to a point where the leg movement would'nt be a problem. For sure you need some room in front of this splendid horse to allow it to move into frame. Just one more small niggle if I may. The rider's eyes are shaded and it might help next time if she looks up so that the sun will light her face more.
pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2023 United Kingdom
20 May 2011 3:28PM
Hello, Tracey. Some good advice above. I think this looks good, the rider seems relaxed and the horse has lovely rich colouring. I applaud you for shooting with a good background that has no distractions. I have done a modification where I added canvas to the right side, the area into which horse and rider are moving, so that you can see how this composition works. I felt your image was a bit dark and that part of the horse was in shadow, so adjusted highlights/shadows, brightened and adjusted contrast.
paulbroad 10 123 1249 United Kingdom
20 May 2011 9:07PM
The 400 ISO advice is good, but you are not really unsharp at all as i see it. A couple of ideas as I have, on a number of occasions, done shots for a local riding school.

The lighting is coming from the right - better to reposition to get more balanced side lighting if in sun. Then you need to look at the background from the new position, and in general.

Do you have to shoot in the menage? The place I go to has a field with fallen logs as low jumps and a wooded background on three sides - thus a pleasant even toned green background without distractions.

SPARROWHALL 10 26 England
22 May 2011 9:23PM
Hi, Thank you all very very much. I went out and did as you all said and came back with a shot am very pleased with. I posted it for guys to show you I did as you said. Hope you all like it and thank you all again very much Smile


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