Off To The Races

By: Jconnphoto

Aug 25 2010

Tags: , , ,

Category: Sports

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Focal Length:200mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 40D

Photo blog day twelve, August 25, 2010

So I was off to the race’s today in Saratoga, NY.  This destination was chosen as the location to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the company I work for.  I have to say, when I heard we were going to the Saratoga Racetrack I was thrilled.  Then I broke out in a cold sweat.  Racing means fast, fast means panning.  Guess what?  I’m terrible at panning.  I don’t know why, it should be easy right?  It’s probably the same reason I was never a good soccer player, I never followed through.  I spent some time on You Tube yesterday brushing up on some panning techniques and I have to say they worked!  One of the first tips was… you guessed it!  Follow through.  Like a good golf swing (Well, I actually haven’t ever played golf but that’s what I’ve heard).  I got some great shots, some bad shots and some shots that should never be shown to anyone.  I had asked some people who clearly looked like regulars where some good vantage points were for taking photos of the races.  Absent one press-pass I was forced to stay with the general public (anyone know where/how I can get a press pass?!).  I trekked my way to the furthest point I could without being taken down by the ever-present security.  I stood at the top of the stretch and waited for the horses to make their way around the bend.  Boy was that rewarding!  First of all there was hardly anyone there.  Second the sheer thrill of seeing the horses make their way into the final stretch, you hear the crowd start cheering and roaring.  It’s fantastic.   This one was not the best technically by any means, I had some better ones but I kept going back to this one.  It was taken as the horses came into the stretch, you can see the concentration and passion in the jockey’s face, the muscles bunching in the horse in preparation for that final push.  One of the reasons I love photography is for the emotional response I get from the photo, not for getting a technically correct photo.  In this photo I see and feel strength, excitement, passion, and speed.  For those reasons I forgive myself the technicalities and I hope you will too.


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