Revisiting a great love- Race Horse Photography

It was almost a fluke as far as timing goes. The Race Meetings are held about 20 times per year at each of the local venues, so it was a combination of circumstances that led me to revisit a former favourite hobby. I have been learning to use the full capabilities of my camera’s, using manual modes, rather than auto mode. Feeling confident that I was at a stage to test my understanding, I decided to use practical examples to confirm the theory.

As it happened, it was exactly 25 years and  17 days, since I had last visited the local Horse Racing Meeting, with a camera in tow. The last time I had photographed the horses racing, I was using a Pentax film camera. This time I decided to take the new Nikon D5200 with 55-200mm lens, and to swap between Shutter priority mode for the racing, and Aperture mode for the non action shots.

I was reasonably happy with my shots.  The learning experience also taught me a couple of unforseen lessons.  I had set my camera for Raw, plus large Jpeg shots, plus multiple exposures.  Using only a 4GB card, and using  Raw , my card ran out in an hour. The Raw photographs used on average 30mb of space, together with around 10mb in Jpeg. I went to the next available race meeting, turned off Raw, and happily spent three and a half hours shooting on the same 4gb card.

I found a problem using multiple exposures. There is a delay  of between 10- 30 seconds whilst the camera absorbs and files each set of multiple shots, before the shutter can be released for further shots. I missed some excellent action shots whilst waiting for the camera to release the shutter again.  I have yet to investigate how to overcome this problem, so more on this later.

In the meantime, you be the judge and post your comments accordingly. Many more snaps are included in my photo albums at EK Photographic Captures on Facebook.

Bear in mind, I strive to capture the character and personality of the horses, rather than elegant and pretty portraits. Many of the photographs reveal an emotion or feeling of the horse in question.

3 responses to “Revisiting a great love- Race Horse Photography

  1. I have owned a racehorse straight off the track myself and can see alot of his expressions in your photos, brilliant pictures in my eyes!

  2. Thank you Jess. I love the challenge of capturing the character and personality of all my subjects, both people and animals. It is like looking through the window to their soul. I am also wrapped that I can print these 30mb photo’s onto a large 60″x40″ 150 x102 cm canvas. I wish this technology had been available when I had all my horses. It is also very affordable. There is no better way to remember and immortalise our equine best friends. Cheers

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