And…They’re Off!-Opening Day at Tampa Bay Downs-Tampa Photography

I have now gone to Tampa Bay Downs several times to photograph the Horses and every time it is a challenge! The track is open December to May and I usually go with my brother who likes to bet on the races while I take photos. I really enjoy going and observing all that is going on-if you have never been I suggest you do so! I am forever trying new places to stand, camera settings etc to capture the best images when they race by but also in between races I try to capture other images of the horses and jockeys. When shooting the race I have my camera in the continuous mode so that I simply hold the button down to get as many shots as I can when they run by me. I have tried panning and also keeping the camera planted in one spot the entire time. Sometimes it is best to just focus on the horse coming in last as it is often by itself and you can get images of just the one horse. It seems harder to get a good image of a bunch of them running together but I do like this first shot except for the fact that the last horse’s tail is chopped off! I do have an addition image where it is in the picture but I like the angle of this one better!

These two images were taken at different distances. The track is pretty wide and at first I was not sure how close to me they would be-they run by so fast it you do not have much time to adjust your lens once they are in front of you! Fortunately there is a race every 20 minutes so I can experiment every time I go. Here are some other images from the track that day.

For some races, the horses run on the grass and the only way I can get any kind of decent shot at all is by going to the 2nd floor grand stands. Here are some head shots of the beautiful horses I captured as they walked past me. I love horses!

Finally this last image is my favorite of the day. The horse’s eyes are closed with the wind blowing his mane around a bit. It has such a peaceful and magical quality about it and he looks like he is meditating when really he was walking as I took the photo. I am always looking for artistic photos full of emotion whether my subject is a person or an animal and this one really moves me! I hope you like it too! I am very much interested in photographing horses this way some more so if you or anyone you know in the Tampa Bay area have a horse and would like some images like this please let me know!

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