Last weekend was a very exciting opportunity for workshop attendees, as well as myself as I held a sports photography workshop with Roberts Camera Education here in Indianapolis centered around Barrel Racing.  What is barrel racing you ask?  I’m glad you asked.  Barrel racing is a rider attempting to take a horse in a clover leaf fashion around a set of barrels in the fastest time.  What is a good time?  Somewhere between 15 and 16 seconds at the level we were shooting, which was the National Barrel Horse Association State Show at the C Bar C Expo Center in Cloverdale Indiana.

_M4S9139(Nikon D4s, 11,400ISO, Nikon 400mmF2.8VR, 1/640th@F2.8)

Workshops like these can be really great, because they help lay the foundation for shooting any sport while in most cases gave them an opportunity to shoot something they are unlikely to photograph otherwise.  The attendees at this workshop did a great job, and really showed that they took to heart what I said early on about filling the frame, composition, and timing.  Sometimes when shooting sports you have to set up and just wait for the shot as you can’t be everywhere at once.  A lot of times when shooting on lights that’s what you have to do as your lights sort of determine what you can and can’t shoot when using them.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to set up any lights for the workshoppers (or myself) to use at this event, but I could see some really cool  possibilities that I think even my friend Andrew Hancock would have been pleased with.  Andy is a great sports shooter and is big into shooting Horse racing and related events.  Either way, despite the very dark lighting, the workshop attendees put their best lens forward (see what I did there?) and produced what I consider to be some outstanding results!  As I did with my Hockey Workshop earlier this year, I requested the participants email me their favorite shot from the day by the following evening (in this case Sunday 6/29), and that’s what the rest of this blog will be made from.


(Photo by Karl Zemlin taken with a Nikon D800E)

Low light didn’t stop the workshop participants, but it did inspire them.  Lots of questions about panning came about to go along with stopping the action in the low light and I am really impressed with the images that the participants have sent me for the purposes of this blog post.  Some are action related, and others are detail oriented which is great considering it means that the participants did take the opportunity to walk around and see the sights!


(Photo by Rob Baker with a Canon 1DX)

The event is a great one to shoot as every few runs they pause to groom the track.  Anybody I know who has ever covered a Kentucky derby has described it as 4 minutes of horse racing between 45 minutes of track grooming and this takes a similar pattern except the track is a lot smaller.  It’s great though because you essentially get a few minutes every few runs where you aren’t missing anything to switch positions in an effort to try something new and the participants took full opportunity to look for every angle they could find.


(Photo by Deborah Shahadey with a Nikon D7000)

Overall I feel like the workshop was a success and it appears as though the after class Survey’s concur.  Unfortunately I didn’t have all the images from everyone by the time of this writing on Sunday Evening, but that’s ok as the images I do have in here are a good selection of what the class got in the low light of the arena.  It’s too bad we were only there for a few hours and not longer as it it really was a very neat event to shoot.  If anyone here reading this was at or participating in the event and looking to order images, be sure to, check out the hired photographer’s photo’s from the event.   The workshoppers were more involved with trying new things and shooting to know who they photographed or what run it might have been.  Brent has got every run up on his website where you can order prints and a video of your Run.  Thanks again to all the folks that came out to the workshop, and also thanks again to Roberts Camera for putting it together.  Make sure you keep an eye on the Roberts Camera Education page for some very cool future events and workshops.  More Soon.