Karen Davis  

Photo Finish by Karen Davis

September 2021 - Photo Finish

About the Image(s)

Date Taken: 8/23/21
Location: Colonial Downs Racetrack, Williamsburg, VA
Camera: Canon EOS 6D
Lens: 150-600 mm FS-6.3 (My first time using it!)
Exposure: 1/800 sec at f/8.0
Focal Length: 435 mm
ISO: 250

This was only my second time at a horse race and the first time trying to photograph one. It was a typical HOT August day in Virginia and I felt sorry for those horses, but they seemed to know what was expected and gave us several thrilling "photo finishes!

Any advice for fast-action shooting would be much appreciated! (And, yes - I know I need a tripod next time!)

5 comments posted

Gregory Waldron   Gregory Waldron
Hi Karen,
What a nice image. The colors are vibrant, and the flying dirt put the viewer right into the action. My first recommendation is to forget the tripod. I think handheld is the way to go for this type of shooting. My second suggestion is a little Photoshop magic. The right side of the image is too tight and runs the horses out of the image. I added a little more room with content aware fill. All in all, a very strong image.
Best regards,
Greg   Posted: 09/10/2021 13:33:48
Comment Image

Darcy Johnson   Darcy Johnson
Hi Karen - I'm with Greg . . . forget the tripod and give those horses a little room to run on the right side. This is best done when composing the shot out of the camera - better to crop some in post if need be (don't get me wrong - Greg's idea works too:) One very, very small nit is that it would be nice if the center horse looked like it had four legs. All that said, lovely colors, angle of the shot and great action shown from the flying dirt to just how deep the horses hooves have to dig in to keep moving forward. I also like that the background is blurred just enough to keep the focus on the jockeys/horses. Nice capture!   Posted: 09/10/2021 16:09:40

Ingrid Lockhart   Ingrid Lockhart
Hi Karen. I like this image a lot, especially the vibrant colors and the stop action that you've achieved with the horses' feet in the dirt. It is impressive that you were able to get the three horses and riders in focus, with the background slightly blurred. Your exposure is right on and the composition with the three subjects is great. Thanks for sharing!   Posted: 09/11/2021 11:56:21

Xiao Cai   Xiao Cai
Hi Karen, very lovely action shot! You did very well, very sharp. The sunlight is very harsh, probable in post-process you need to light shadow part to bright up more details. I wish the background was more blurry. Thanks for sharing.   Posted: 09/13/2021 08:16:02

Tom Brassil   Tom Brassil
Hi Karen a great job depicting the scene and showing the intent and effort of the competitors in this. I like the panning technique you've used to keep the main subject in focus and slightly blur the blur the background, always difficult to get panning correctly achieved. I agree with the other comments on the right-hand side of the image, the horses do need somewhere to go. A nice sporting image thanks for sharing   Posted: 09/13/2021 19:13:22


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