Photography Critique? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-18-2012, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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Photography Critique?

Hey I'm looking for some good critique for these photos. I have just started taking photos at local shows and the shots I have aren't sharp enough for my liking. Is there anything I can do to improve in regards to my camera settings. Also, which is better to focus, following the horse or focusing on the jump and waiting for the horse?

These photos were taken on my Canon 7D with 1/1000 shutter speed, 200 IOS and f5.6 aperture.

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 21 Old 04-18-2012, 07:38 AM
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Hmm the first is probably the most appealing. The other two are fuzzy and at strange angles.

My advice is that you kind of do both. You stay at the jump but as the horse is approaching, you follow with your camera lens so you don't end up with a blurry pair.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #3 of 21 Old 04-18-2012, 09:28 AM
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The canon 7d is an amazing camera. There should be an object tracking mode. Typically you want to be following the horse 10 ft in front of the jump and panning with the horse at the same time as it moves through the jump. If you focus on the jump first you might be focusing on a rail or infinity (backgroud focus) Focus on what you want to take a picture of. It takes some practice. What lens do you have? That makes a HUGE difference! Your shutter speed is well in range. You also should get a monopod so that you can keep the cameras steady up and down.

Shoot RAW so that you have full control over the photo. 7d has a lot of focusing methods. Also there should be a sports mode that will take fast action shots.

I don't want to hurt your feelings. But that camera is way more that capable of taking sharper photos. Those are soft and should be WAY WAY sharper. You just have to do a bit more research and practice. try forums and go the canon 7d section and ask the crowd there. I'm a sony shooter. the 7d is a great camera, but you also need some good glass! hope this helps.

Last edited by NutBolts; 04-18-2012 at 09:31 AM. Reason: Providing a Link: Here is the best 7d forum on the net!
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post #4 of 21 Old 04-18-2012, 11:38 AM
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Defiantly following the horse will give a much better result than if you waited on the horse to approach the jump.
I use this technique when I capture photos at races and for the most part, in general.
Still, your camera settings can have a lot of effect on how your photos will turn out.
If I have the right settings on my little point and shot I can get really crisp action photos out of it.
Just keep practicing and play around with your settings to see what you can get out of your camera.
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-18-2012, 11:58 AM
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Did you take all these pictures too? I knew that grey pony looked familiar!

Pictures from a small weekend show
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post #6 of 21 Old 04-18-2012, 05:46 PM
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You have a good start, just need a bit of practice. These are the things that I noticed right off the bat for all 3 of your photos. They are underexposed and out of focus, but this is a common mistake and easily fixable.

In regards to your question of tracking or setting up camera to the jump and taking your photo at that point. I suggest until you get really comfortable and consistent at taking tack sharp photos and getting the results you want I would stick with panning. It is much easier and your camera does have a good tracking ability.

1st Photo your angle is perfect and great timing in the jump. The horse looks happy, the rider's face isn't too shadowed out. But leaving a bit of room in front of your horse is much more appealing to the eye. Remember the rule of thirds. Leave some room for your horse to move into. Other than that I think this photo was very well done.

2nd photo does have good timing but there are a lot of not so appealing distractions such as the gate to the right and the jump post cutting off part of the horse's face. Positioning yourself a bit more would have avoided this. And again leave some room for the horse to jump into.

3rd photo is much like the 1st. Good angle, good timing. I would next time though go with a smaller DOF to blur out those tents that are distracting my eye fromt he horse.

I want to say again that you do have a good start and are capturing the good moment, just be sure to pay attention to the whole photo, not just the horse. Can't wait to see more.

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
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post #7 of 21 Old 04-18-2012, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I know the camera is much better than this but I am still learning. This is my first competition and have only had the camera for about a month :P

Originally Posted by NutBolts View Post
What lens do you have?
I use a canon 70-200mm f4 IS lens

Originally Posted by Dressage10135 View Post
Did you take all these pictures too? I knew that grey pony looked familiar!
Haha yes I took those as well. She is my younger sister :)
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post #8 of 21 Old 04-20-2012, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Any more tips on how I can improve?
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post #9 of 21 Old 04-20-2012, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Showjumper91 View Post
Any more tips on how I can improve?
Get to know your camera, read the manual and pratice focusing with how the manual says to do it.

Pratice on cars driving by, or through a ball for your dog and try to capture him, keeping him in your focus points. Another thing to remember, is your 7d us 18 Megapixels, so You don't have to zoom in as close you have alot of cropping room still left with that many pixels. Instead of widening out to 200mm stay at 175mm then when home and you're post processing, you can crop to make look like it was shot at 200mm. But don't crop to heavyly though.

Also if you look at your second photo up top, You're not even focused on the horse, you're focused on the fence leg in the middle of the photo, which leads me to believe you focused first, then waited for the horse.


Last edited by NutBolts; 04-20-2012 at 07:04 AM. Reason: One other thing.
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post #10 of 21 Old 04-23-2012, 06:46 AM Thread Starter
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Ok so I have played around a bit with the settings and how i focus on the horse. Have I improved and can I do anything better?
These were taken at 1/800 shutter speed, 320 IOS, f4
These were also shot in RAW. These were converted into jpeg but they don't look as good
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