Back Modifications (3)
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And they're off!!

By gjfereday
A P McCoy on his way to a winner. I was trying to capture a sharp action image from the main stand at Aintree. The light wasn't brilliant so overall I'm quite pleased. I've made a slight adjustment in levels and added a slight vignette with a little dodging on the horse facial and muscle features.

Tags: Sports and action


Sooty_1 9 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2014 12:51PM
Firstly, I think the vignette is too heavy...real life wouldn't appear like this, and a vignette should really subtly direct your view. As the horses are the only subject, very subtle would do. The light doesn't look too good, but it's all a bit dark and could benefit from a little lightening.

I'd prefer to see the horses coming slightly towards me, rather than away from me and be able to see the jockeys faces better. That said, they're reasonably sharp, though one school might say they need to be pin sharp, while another might say motion in the legs and background would convey speed. This is a bit in between both, unfortunately. Panning from the stand is not easy, due to the distance and other peoples heads!
Maybe the pin sharp route might be better from here, so upping the ISO would enable a faster shutter speed. Here you could have gone to ISO 800, giving you 2 more stops and a shutter speed of 1/1600. That would make you safer from camera shake and enable you to freeze the action better.


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banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4021 Canada
7 Apr 2014 2:42PM
Youve done quite well with sharpness. I have uploaded a mod that covers most of what Nick has already said, just to show the difference.

In addition, I have added a little more space at the top.

Usually with moving subjects, its best to use AI Servo to track the subject - I wonder if you did here?


gjfereday 7 46 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2014 3:11PM
Thanks Guys

I'll take these comments on board.

dudler Plus
16 896 1507 England
7 Apr 2014 7:25PM
Looking at your portfolio, this is qute a departure for you, and all credit for trying something different!

There's a lot of good technical advice above, and i'll jsut echo that an ISO increase would give you just a litlte more headroom in everything - allowing a slightly smaller aperture (for quality, and depth of field), and a higher shutter speed if you wanted it. While it's good to push all the parameters sometimes, giving yourself a margin for error when you can, especially in demanding circumstances like these, has an awful lot oging for it!

A fraction more exposure wouldn't have gone amiss, I'm sure.

I'm going to upload a mod with a tilt added - the idea is to emphasise the way that the horses are leaning into the corner. I can see your vignette as reflecting the way a racing fan homes in just on the horse they've backed, blotting out everything except the most immediate competition. I've never been racing, but the excitement comes across in things like this song by Show of Hands... This picture made me think of that song.

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