Even Photographers Get Rusty

As I am pretty sure I’ve mentioned before, I grew up watching and loving horse racing. I’d like to become more proficient at shooting racing—to say nothing of using my telephoto lens, which I’ve probably used three or four times since buying it in late 2008 *blush*.  We’re not far from a track here, so Saturday, despite the cold, wet, windy weather, Hubby and I headed out to Beulah so I could get some practice in. We arrived late in the day, though I had planned to be at the gate when the track opened; a heavy downpour kept me away until about three, so I was only able to shoot three races (and shiver between them!). Darn!

To be honest, I’m not thrilled with my results. I could blame the dark, rainy sky and my shivering (I knew I should have worn my woolen coat, butnoooo, had to go with the light spring one instead…). But really, it is my own fault—again, I’m not as good as I should be with this lens, and really ought to use it more so I am fully competent with it. (A tripod would have been wise as well, but I’m not sure Beulah would have let me get away with that.)

Also, I tend to shoot stationary objects such as classic cars, buildings, and neon signs, not horses roaring by me at forty miles per hour. Therefore, I also need to shoot more action and sports so I become competent in that area as well. I’ve not shot racehorses since 2008 (and to make myself feel better, I’ve used a couple of those ’08 photos here in this post, because I’m not INCOMPETENT shooting racing)! Yikes. That explains why the photos are not all To the finish I wanted them to be—for one thing, my composition was most unsatisfying. My eye for shooting racing must be rusty (which is pathetic, as I’m a subscriber to chock-full-of-photos The Blood-Horse.)

There is always room for improvement in whatever it is we do. But as my husband reminded me when I told him how disappointed I was in my results, “It was a practice round, and that’s why you practice.” This is true. Also, I clearly learned about some weak spots! Instead of moping over our failures and shaky areas when we learn about them, I think we should instead be glad providence pointed them out to us and get to work. Just looking at the photos I took, I can see where and how to improve them.

Despite my frustration, not all of my race day photographs were bad, though frustratingly, most of the action ones were just not as sharp as I like them to be. Here are the ones I liked best. Do you have any favourites?

Funnily enough, the shot of jockey Faith Schorr on Foxy On Sunday is my favourite—and portraits are definitely not my thing. Go figure!

Handsome Fella

Flying Start


Just One More

Race 7, Beulah

Faith Schorr & Foxy On Sunday

Yup, this is my favourite…Of course, Schorr’s big smile didn’t hurt, either!

Ah, well, we can’t win them all! If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, yes? If I can swing it, I’ll be back at the track this weekend, shooting away! In the meantime, I can study the racing shots from photographers I love and admire—learning from our betters is never a bad thing, either. Suggestions from fellow racing ‘togs is most welcome!

Here: one of my better Thoroughbred photographs. 😉

Unbridled's Song

Have a beautiful day!


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