Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tips for photographing horse jumping

When you're shooting a horse jumping competition, it's all about freezing the action in your photo.  I shot a horse competition for the first time not too long ago and here's what I learned.

1. It's all about timing.  The ideal time is when the front hoofs are tucked underneath the horse. 


If you are a little slow on the shutter release button, you'll end up with an image closer to this one.  

Notice how the legs are coming down and getting ready to land.  This image doesn't have the same visual impact as the one above it.

2. Horse move quickly.  In order to got shots like this, I recommend shooting at a shutter speed no slower than 1/500th of a second.  Because the shutter speed needs to be so high, I was shooting at 2.8 and had the ISO cranked up to 8000.

3. If at all possible, shoot horse going over obstacles that conceal their hind legs.  There are times where their back hoofs are still on the ground as their front legs start coming down for the landing. 

This image does not have the same impact as the one below because you can see the back hoofs still on the ground.

This horse's hind hoofs are probably still on the ground, too, but because you don't see them, the overall image is more striking to the viewer.

This is one of my favorite images from the set.  The timing was right, I like how the rider's position matches that of the horse, it all came together nicely.

If you'd like to see more shots from this event, check out my site, John Shippee Photography.  If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments section.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Pretty Reckless at Jack Rabbits

I have been wanting to shoot The Pretty Reckless for quite some time.  I almost had the chance a few years ago when they were in town.  I'd worked things out with a friend of mine that works the door so that I would be able to bring my camera into the venue.  Then the day of the show, he called to let me know that the band had strict instructions that no cameras were going to be allowed.  :(

When I found out they were coming back to Jacksonville, I quickly contacted the band to arrange for a photo pass to the show.  After some communications back and forth, it was all set and ready to go.  Now the hard part; waiting the few months to pass between getting approval and waiting for the actual show.

The show was yesterday, September 25.  My calendar had it as this coming Sunday.  OOPS!  Fortunately, I was looking at Facebook and saw a post from the band that alerted me to my error.  I quickly grabbed the camera and headed out the door.  There was a small line outside, but at least I didn't miss the show.

Louna, a band from Russia, went on first.  This was their first show in the US, which made being there a little more special.

After Louna's set, it was time for Heaven's Basement.  They are from England.  While I don't recall them specifically saying so, I think this was their first time playing in the States, too.  They kind of reminded me of a young ACDC.

Then it was time for the headlining act, The Pretty Reckless.  Their set was particularly difficult to shoot.  There was more use of fog machines.  The lighting was harsher.  People kept crowding and pushing in front of me, and then raising their phones in front of my view to take photos.

Taylor Momsen of The Pretty Reckless

Taylor Momsen of The Pretty Reckless

Taylor Momsen of The Pretty Reckless

While it was a difficult show to shoot, I think they turned out pretty well.  More pictures from the show can be seen at my site John Shippee Photography.