>A Day at the Races

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  Today I am excited to present some photos taken on the opening day of horse racing season at Tampa Bay Downs. I went with my brother who enjoys betting on the horses. For me of course it is all about photos! I did not plan the above photo but the next time I go I will be looking to improve on it. I love how you basically get 3 views of the same moment in one photo! You may need to click on it so you can see what I am talking about on the bigger version. On the top of the viewing screen there is a head on view of the horses coming out of the gate as well as a view from above.
   It was a strange weather day here in Tampa. Completely overcast and in the upper 50s when we arrived. Then in the last 90 minutes or so we were there the sun came out and blew ALL of the clouds away. It was a very crowded day also as this was the first race day of the season. 
  There are so many photographic opportunities here! You can capture the horses in the stall, being led around and of course running! The above may be my favorite from the day and I especially like it with this Sephia treatment. There are two elements that really make me love it. One is that the horse is sticking out his tongue, the other is the American flag blurred in the background.
  Check out those teeth!  Here the horses are getting ready for their race!
  
  I love the eye in this photo.
  Here are some photos of some of the jockeys. 

  Almost time to race!
  This one was taken after the sun came out and was in a wonderful position throwing beautiful light onto these horses!
  And…. their off!!
  I have gone to this track several times and can see my photos improving each time.  I used only 2 different lenses on this day, my Canon 70-300mm and my Canon 24-105mm f 4.  I started out at 1/500 of a second for the racing shots but ended up getting the best shots at 1/1000 when the sun came out.  I want to continue to experiment with aperture, most of these were taken at 7.1-8 because I wanted detail throughout the horse and was letting the camera pick what area to focus on in burst mode. The next time I will take my 50mm 1.4 and see how things go shooting super fast wide open with it.
  Tampa Bay Downs is a fun place to check out whether you are taking photos, a fan of horse racing, or just horses themselves. You can check out their schedule for live racing on the site I linked and it is free to get in during the wee and just $3 on the weekends! Clubhouse admission is $3. Races take place about every 15-20 minutes and there is seating inside and out.
  To larger versions of these photos check out the gallery on my main site here:
🙂 Stephanie
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