equine cross country photos

dod

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#2
backgrounds are terrible in all of them but I quite like the first two close ups despite that. Maybe a wider aperture would have helped, maybe it needed a different viewpoint :)

You're very slightly too early on 3 and 4.

Edit: you need to fix your camera, exif data says October 2010 :)
 
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hayley.price
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#3
i would like to point out these are from a show hence the backgrounds, as for 3 n 4 being early i would like more of your opinion if possible to those as both of those were clients favorite photos from the day, i am very experienced with equine photography and those shots always are more liked by clients then any others
 
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#4
I agree about the backgrounds - I'm sure from another angle you might have got less 'clutter'?

By early he means the horses back feet are still on the ground - a little later and the whole horse would have been suspended with more of a shape over the jump.

They're nice sharp pictures, but if I was doing XC personally I'd want to see the jump as well, especially since they look pretty big here.
#3 is a bit OE too - easily fixable with post-processing.
 

digitalfailure

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#5
I think Dod is referring to the timing of the shots as the horses rear feet are still in contact with the ground. It makes for a much more dynamic shot if the horse is mid flight.

I too find the people and general clutter in the backgrounds to be distracting, again as mentioned and shorted depth of field would have helped to isolate the subject from the back ground and reduce the distraction.

Personally I don't like the crops either, I want to see what the horse is jumping over in the first two as it doesn't look like a standard fence. 3 and 4 look the rider is ducking to stay within the frame....more so on 3
 
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#6
Can't really comment on the position of the horses but am guessing it is because the back legs have not left the floor.............

For me #3 & 4 need a little more space in front of the horse + advice on wider aperture is spot on to 'hide' the ugly backgrounds...............
 
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#7
Personally I don't like the crops either, I want to see what the horse is jumping over in the first two as it doesn't look like a standard fence. 3 and 4 look the rider is ducking to stay within the frame....more so on 3

i dont know how much you know about the equine world or cross country jumping but those riders are not ducking they are infact riding properly as they have the corect position over the jump to suport the horse in the best way posible



as for the background thank you i will work on that.
 

Yv

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#8
i dont know how much you know about the equine world or cross country jumping but those riders are not ducking they are infact riding properly as they have the corect position over the jump to suport the horse in the best way posible



as for the background thank you i will work on that.

I read that as they 'appear' to be ducking the frame, not that they are riding incorrectly, it is in reference to the tightness of the frame over the head, they need a little more space, thats all.

I would also agree a shallower depth of field would help, you cannot avoid such clutter at shows, but can reduce its impact on an image by opening up the apertures on the camera.
 

dod

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#9
i would like to point out these are from a show hence the backgrounds, as for 3 n 4 being early i would like more of your opinion if possible to those as both of those were clients favorite photos from the day, i am very experienced with equine photography and those shots always are more liked by clients then any others
Okay. Firstly apologies if my post came across as overly harsh, it wasn't meant to be.

However, you say you're very experienced and a pro. That makes the backgrounds for a cross country inexcusable. There is always a better option than the ones you have shown here. If it was in the showjumping I'd say fair enough, you can't control what's outside the ring.

As far as the timing is concerned, as others have pointed out, the feet are still on the ground. A fraction later and you get something like this, click it for full size. Rider's position isn't fantastic but it's not the point here.



I've got thousands like the ones you posted and yes, I was too early with them too and it annoys me immensely :)
 

digitalfailure

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#10
i dont know how much you know about the equine world or cross country jumping but those riders are not ducking they are infact riding properly as they have the corect position over the jump to suport the horse in the best way posible
:)

I know a fair bit actually as my sister in law competes in horse trials (y)

Look at the image as it's presented and tell me honestly that the rider in image 3 doesn't "look" like she's ducking to fit in the frame.

The technique can be the best and the horse and rider the best in the world and the most glamorous location imaginable.....but if the final image doesn't cut it, it'll still look pants.

The thing that keeps us here, is the desire to learn and increase our photographic skill set. Honest and constructive critique of our images helps that far more than people saying its a great shot for the sake of it.

(y)
 
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#11
thank you for all your advice i will take it into consideration and would just like to add for don althought i have said i am experienced i am no where near a pro i am experienced in giving my clients a picture they want as most of the clients i take pictures of said what they want where they want both riders in these pictures are friends of mine and both have paided for these photos i understand that these photos are not amazing photography shots but they are what my clients wanted and thats what i gave them and they were happy with it. there are ways they could have been better but my clients went away happy and i can only improve on what you have said with practice and that i will do thank you
 
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#12
hayley.price said:
thank you for all your advice i will take it into consideration and would just like to add for don althought i have said i am experienced i am no where near a pro i am experienced in giving my clients a picture they want as most of the clients i take pictures of said what they want where they want both riders in these pictures are friends of mine and both have paided for these photos i understand that these photos are not amazing photography shots but they are what my clients wanted and thats what i gave them and they were happy with it. there are ways they could have been better but my clients went away happy and i can only improve on what you have said with practice and that i will do thank you
Part of the problem is that you are still looking at your images with the eyes of an equestrian, not a photographer.

Most equestrians won't give two hoots about the background, the white balance or even in extreme cases focus or exposure.

What they think they want to see is just good configuration in the animal, good seating by the rider and if possible as daring a jump as possible for the combination's class and experience.

Its up to you to learn how to combine both types of quality to produce a properly stunning image. Believe me once you get the hang of it you will knock their socks off. At the moment your clients are looking at themselves and their horse; when you get it right they'll be looking at your photograph - there's a big difference.

Watch your backgrounds.

Getting the timing right over smaller fences is probably harder than doing it over the more advanced classes, because the perfect moment is more fleeting, but the ideal would be #4 a split second later as the hooves leave the ground. If you are taking from the front always try to include the groundline, but if you are going to go for a close up, really go for it and just show the combination's heads together.

Again, watch your backgrounds! If you can't get into a position with clean ones then knock them out with DoF- unless you are showing a very specific feature of the course, like a country house.

The basics are there, you just need to work on the finer points.
 
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#13
Agree with the above you're still looking at the photo from the riders point of view. I am a rider myself but also a photographer and the aim is to mix them both together- you should know how the horse and rider should be for a good shot, and how exposure etc should be for a good shot photographically, now combine the 2 and you get a wow shot.

As for xc being cluttered backgrounds it should be the 1 discipline where backgrounds aren't such an issue, try shooting at hickstead or on a busy showground that's where you have trouble with backgrounds. Did you stay close to the lorry park/start of the course when you took these photos, if you venture into the course a bit you get better jumps, backgrounds and the horses are normally jumping better too-


i dont know how much you know about the equine world or cross country jumping but those riders are not ducking they are infact riding properly as they have the corect position over the jump to suport the horse in the best way posible
I would disagree with this their positions are not correct they aren't folding from the hips but leaning forward especially the rider with the purple hat silk.
 
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#14
Agree about the backgrounds I'm afraid, it's the one thing I make sure is as clear as possible when choosing a fence to photograph. Your timing on those couple is slightly early, with the preferred position being tippy toes / just off the ground. I find the lower the level the less competitors worry about the fraction of a second timing, but I always strive to get them all timed correctly

I'm not sure about the first crops, I prefer to take a full shot or a big crop of horse and riders head, not in between, this is usually preferred by riders as well due to not being able to see the jump
 
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#15
Natalie_B said:
I'm not sure about the first crops, I prefer to take a full shot or a big crop of horse and riders head, not in between, this is usually preferred by riders as well due to not being able to see the jump
Copy cat!! :p :D
 
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