Advice for Low-Light Action and a Horse Show

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Pugs, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I posted this question over in the Photojournalism & Sports gallery (http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1332260#post1332260), but it occurs to me that maybe that was the wrong place to put it because I'm asking beginner questions.

    Basically, this weekend I may be going to a roller derby (as a spectator but I thought it would be fun to try to shoot some low-light action since the keep the arena VERY dark) and I will be going to a horse show (dressage).

    I'm hoping for advice on tips, techniques, settings, etc... for both. The roller derby will be in a dark arena and the horse show will be outdoors (I believe).

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'd suggest using your 50mm F1.8 lens (at F1.8 or F2)....and you will probably need to use ISO 800 or 1600 as well. That will minimize your shutter speed, giving you the best change to get shots that aren't blurry.

    I don't know if flash would be allowed, but that might be an option, if you have an accessory/hotshoe flash.
     
  3. KhronoS

    KhronoS TPF Noob!

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    Definitely the 50mm lens. As big mike said.
     
  4. Son Dean

    Son Dean TPF Noob!

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    I dont think the flash will be allowed, as I just snapped a photo of one of our horses using the flash and I spooked the hell out of him.

    I use a 50mm f1.4 for a lot of my horse portraits, and the bokeh and clarity is incredible... its a great lens for places that restrict the use of flash photography, and an all around great low light lens.
     
  5. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    Hey,

    Thanks for the input folks! I really appreciate it!

    Just to clarify, the roller derby is the low-light action event and flash photography is not allowed as the girls are zipping around as fast as they can go in a dark arena.

    The horse show is outdoors (I think) and will be from 9:00AM - 2:00PM so there should be good daylight (but this is Wisconsin and weather is never what you expect it to be).
     
  6. obsessivephotographer

    obsessivephotographer TPF Noob!

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    I can't help with the roller derby, but I can definitely help you with the dressage.

    Firstly, although it's outside and you probably won't need it, flash will 100% not be allowed. Equestrian events, especially dressage, are very particular about not spooking the horses. Depending on the show and it's rating, you won't be allowed to come within 9-15 feet of the arena where the tests are taking place. You will definitely need a telephoto lens unless you only shoot when the horse and rider are where the spectator stand is, or closest to you. If you're doing intermediate or upper levels, then in order to capture the passage, piaffe, and all that good stuff you will definitely need a lens with a bit of reach. Speedwise, faster is better but I've shot showjumping (which involves faster movement) with a 300mm F4 lens.

    As for shooting techniques, equestrian photography is surprisingly complex, especially dressage. There are very specific timings for shots of each gait, and I'm only still learning.

    I highly highly highly recommend http://www.equinephotographers.org/4um/. They can answer all your questions and more. You can join as a general member for free for 30 days. This site is definitely worth it's weight in gold, and the members are amazing. Some of the foremost equine photographers in the world are active members. All the information you'll need, or a guide to the information you need will be on there, and if it isn't, you can always ask!
     
  7. Pugs

    Pugs TPF Noob!

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    Well Folks,

    Thank you for your advice. Apparently I was not able to execute it very well, however, as I was a bit disheartened by the pics I ended up with.

    Some are posted in the Photojournalism and Sports Gallery:

    http://thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1337877#post1337867

    Thanks again for the advice! I'm learning so much on this forum!
     

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