This morning Rich and I had an opportunity to photograph the morning workouts at the Del Mar Race Track with a group of about six other photographers. We got to the race track a little before 7:00 am, and there were already many horses out on the track...some just galloping and some doing speed runs for time. It was really fun to watch the horses and workout jockeys, and everyone was extremely friendly. It turns out that anyone can go watch the workouts at no cost - what a cool thing. You can bet we'll be back.
It also turns out that taking a decent photograph of horses in motion is a LOT harder than I thought. I put my camera on continuous shooting mode so I ended up with a gazillion images, but only a very few "keepers." Some are just flat-out out of focus, some cut off the horse's tail, many cut off one or more of the horse's feet, there are composition issues, and then there is the problem of all the junk in the background...one issue being that there are white posts everywhere, and they often appear to be coming out of the jockey's or horse's heads. And, of course, many of the photos had more than one of these problems. End result...I got a few that are OK, but now I really want to go back and try again. Hopefully there will be some improvement.
I tried to do some panning...moving the camera with the horse (but still keeping it in focus) and blurring the background. When done correctly, the viewer gets the impression of speed. Turns out, that's not so easy either. The image above left is one of the few that came close to what I wanted to accomplish. Need more practice on that too...
No matter the results, it was a fun morning! We've recently joined the Pacific Photographers Meet Up Group, and this was one of their scheduled meet ups. They have several a week and many of them are to new and interesting places. It's been fun to meet some new folks who also enjoy photography, and to try making images in new settings.