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fishinchicks

Donkey Races

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Our local FFA Chapter held a fundraiser on Friday night. They hosted Donkey Races, with each animal in each heat sponsored by a local business. My daughter was one of the riders, representing the cross country team.

Before:

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Practicing her hurdlers stretch. Wait...cross country runners don't need to do that stretch!

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No animals were harmed during the races, but many people hurt their pride! gringrin

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Hah! Those are neat, fishinchicks. The action shot is very nice, but I love your daughter's expression in the first one. That's one for the wall, or maybe both in a single mat and frame. She's got that worried look in image 1 and then you see the reason for the worry in image 2. Did you get her picking herself back up after being tossed? I love how the donkey's ears are laid back in image 1. Like he's planning the very move he'll use in image 2. Those donkeys can't be trusted! gringrin

On a technical note, I see you shot the action shot in low light at 1/100 sec shutter speed, with the lens aperture wide open and the iso at 400. You did very well to get that image as sharp as you did at that shutter speed. The arm blurring is the only unsharp part of the image, and that type of blur sometimes can actually add to the dynamic look of an action or sports image, since it conveys motion. That's a judgment call, of course. Some photographers really like that motion in limbs as long as the face/body are sharp, and some like to freeze everything.

If in the worried portrait it's a full-frame image, you might also try cropping into a vertical with only your daughter and the donkey in the image. That'll eliminate the distractions caused by the other people, riveting attention completely on your daughter's expression and the donkey's evil intent.

Again, nice work in poor lighting!

I took the liberty of making the crop for you and posting it below. I see that you were at 250mm for that shot, which likely means you were using your 50-250mm IS lens and so there was no way to compose it tightly and vertical at capture, so the only way to accomplish this comp is a crop after the fact. But if what you posted was full frame, you should still be able to get at least a nice 5x7 print (or bigger) out of this crop.

Sorry I took these liberties, ma'am. I rarely critique unless someone specifically asks for it, and I also generally ask permission to do this kind of thing because I don't want to offend anyone. I hope that's OK. smilesmile

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Hey Fishinchicks, those are really great! Although, that donkey looks like a real jackass! laugh

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Oof, Mike, I didn't have the guts to say that! But a guy who'll put a Minnesota Viking in his avatar will do pretty much anything. gringrin

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Actually, I was able to use that joke twice this week! I know you're jealous about the avatar Steve.

I do like the cropped version better but the falling shot is priceless.

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Go Pack!

Sorry, fishinchicks. Shouldn't turn this into a Vikes/Pack debate, but those darn Vikes fans (no Super Bowl rings, no chance for one this year) have no shame! Oh, uh, you wouldn't happen to be a Vikings fan, would you fishinchicks? Sorry again! blushblushblush

Mike, I agree that falling shot is great. Come to think of it, it could be cropped vertically too as an experiment to see which looks best.

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Stcatfish - I need all the help I can get when it comes to understanding all the settings. smile I used the sports setting as a crutch. Would it have been better to turn the IS off in that situation, or try out either AV or TV? An external flash would have helped, but I will have to wait for my birthday for that. laugh

I didn't take a lot of time in post processing, but will play around with the cropping to get the improved comp.

Probably the hardest thing about taking pictures that night was trying to hold steady while laughing really hard!

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Oh, I almost forgot...

I gave up on the Vikings a long time ago. I am no longer allowed to watch football with my hubby after the remote throwing incident. The bruise went away after a week or so. whistlegrin

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chicks, modesty forbids me from asking all the questions poised at the tip of my tongue about who threw the remote and who got bruised. gringrin

I think for what you were doing, the sports automated setting was fine. On the XT, it automatically opens aperture to the max and sets the fastest possible shutter speed at the selected iso.

You could have bumped up to iso800 for the action shot, which would have bumped up your shutter speed and possibly frozen more of the waving arm, but it still would not have been completely frozen, and I think you did quite well with the light you had. You could have accomplished the same thing in Av mode by spinning the top dial to open your aperture to the max, but you have to use what's comfortable to use, and the poor light was the real limiting factor here.

Using a supplementary flash would have helped a bit. If you pick up either the 420/430EX or 550/580EX, you can select high speed synchronization on the flash, which will allow the flash to synch with the camera even at fast shutter speeds, and that will help saturate the scene with better light.

I hear you on the laughing part. Shooting weddings and action portraits, I often have to discipline myself to keep my laughter on the inside.

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Nice shots, Chicks. You did extremely well, considering the circumstances. I have to agree about the look on your daughter's face - priceless.

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chicks, modesty forbids me from asking all the questions poised at the tip of my tongue about who threw the remote and who got bruised. gringrin

Let's just say that I have a good throwing arm, and the Vikes messed up on a totally obvious play. The cheerleaders could have read the defense better. grinlaughgrin Sometimes my German/Dutch temper can't be tempered!

I will be asking for a flash with a tilt option. My father in law had a camera with a bulb flash that gave the people in the front row a sunburn. Hubby is afraid of big flashes pointed right at him. hehe

Thanks for all the comments everyone!

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