How I Took That Shot – Ray O’Connell

This shot by Ray O'Connell took 1st place in Grade B in our recent 'Black and White' projected competition. This is how it came about:

My entry of “Rider falling from a horse” was taken during the club shoot at the Point to Point in Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork on 3rd Feb. 2019. It was a mixed cloudy/bright day and I was lucky to get some moody clouds during my shot which cut down somewhat the danger from highlights in the sky. Shooting fast-moving animals / objects I tend to use Shutter Priority mode (TV on my Canon) and you need to set a very fast shutter speed to freeze the action which can mean compromising on the depth of field as you
need to open the lens up more (small f-stops numbers) but this also can have the effect of making your subject jump out against the background. I used 1/1250sec for this shot on my Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8 lens at 95mm, ISO 100 which gave me f3.2.

Positioning is very important so I stood on the track just past one of the jumps and side on to the approaching horses to catch them as they landed. Post-production in Lightroom I removed Chromatic Aberration / Enabled lens profile, increased blacks and shadows, brought down highlights and whites. After these changes, I then
converted the photo to B/W by using the Lightroom preset “B/W Low Contrast”. There was a rope extending from the pole to the edge of the photo behind the horse which I found distracting so removed this in Photoshop using the Spot healing brush.

 - Ray O'Connell