Two weeks to the day, finally the photos are linked from our photos page. Sorry about the delay. To be honest if it wasn't for the Easter break I wouldn't have made it as I lost a couple of nights editing while out of town on business.
What a great finish to our CTR season. Waitarere is always an excellent venue and has a nice variety of trails over fairly forgiving terrain. A fast course greatly facilitated by our hosts who go to some trouble and effort to ensure that stock is moved off the trail and riders have a minimum of gates to open - we're very grateful.
Definitely a walking photographer's course this year, with the trail bending back on itself to create some common ground (two-way traffic) and busy junctions, giving the opportunity to catch riders several times. I particularly liked being able to work parts of the trail forward and backwards, knowing that my "shortcuts" would still have riders on them. I had 4 hours trail time available and covered about 12 km, and was busy the whole time.
Of course, all that means a lot of pictures taken and a lot of selection to do, but I hope you enjoy the results. The selection phase is very important, and it's by far the bigger piece of work. When I'm taking the pictures, I'm not really seeing the detail. It's more about framing horse and rider, finding a reliable focus point, and tracking the moving subject.
Once the pictures are on the computer, that's when I'm looking at the detail - checking the sharpness of focus, eliminating shots where horses or riders have their eyes closed, tongues sticking out (a lot more lip licking happens than you might suspect ;-) or where one or other looks uncomfortable, unbalanced, etc.
In doing this it's not about looking for the "perfect" shot. I'm just looking for a range of shots of each combination that (I hope) they will feel good about, and from which they can select their own favourites.
One of our members commented recently as they rode by that they loved how good I made their horse look. Actually, it's not me - it's you - but I hope, maybe, I can capture and share with you how great you all look.
Have fun, take care, and come back next season.