Crop, 86, Cut. The Lens-Artists Challenge #96

Most of the photography I do is of horses. They are moving subjects and often at the other end of an arena. For horse shows I use a very long lens 250-600 mm mounted on a mono-pod. So I can get close with that but often it may have too much other stuff in the background distracting from the horse or the rider. So I want to 86 ( get rid of) some of the background or foreground. This week Patti had given us the challenge of “cropping the shot”. Here is my take on it.

This photo was taken at the end of British rider Carl Hester’s ride at the World Equestrian Games 2018. The whole stadium was on its feet cheering not just for this ride but for his whole career of amazing horsemanship. I wanted to focus on him.

Another occasion where I wanted to focus on the rider was the end of Isabel Werth’s ride on Bella Rose , also at the 2018 WEG. Isabel had never given up on this mare during four years of injury and unsoundness. I imagine Isabel must have put her foot down with the German selection committee and insisted on riding the mare. Isabel is the top ranked dressage rider in the world and she was right to insist on this mare. They helped Germany to a Team Gold Medal and Isabel won the individual gold medal. At the end of her Grand Prix test emotion got the better of Isabel as she looked toward the cheering crowd and I was in right spot to capture that moment. I cropped the shot to show this moment better.

Horses are always on the move just like other athletes . As I am a rider myself it helps me as I understand the rhythm and tempo of horse’s gaits. A good photo of the trot is when the front leg is extended. So the second before that moment is the time to click. Here is Charlotte Dujardin on Mt.St. John Freestyle. I cropped out some of the arena fencing.

Thank you Patti for this challenge. It was fun to look back at some of these shots before and after cropping.

25 Comments Add yours

  1. David says:

    A 250-600 mm long lens, you’re rivaling some of the big-time sports photographers. I love the crops you’ve done. In equestrian sports, some of the show rings have people right to the edge. In those cases, you would want to crop out much of the audience as possible. Good work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks David. It is a big lens but not as expensive as the ones the pros have! At WEG the audience was well away from the dressage arena. Even the accredited media, of which I was one , had a good distance between us and the riders. That’s as it should be I think. Thank you for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. JohnRH says:

    Great shots. Love the emotive of Ms. Werth. Apologies, but is there a difference between the two photos of Carl Hester?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes there is. If you look at the first shot you can see the horse’s legs and the Helgstrand ads on the arena wall. The second shot has cropped the legs and the ads off. In doing this the focus is more on Carl Hester. Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. JohnRH says:

        Ahh. Duh! My bad.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the crops. Shows off the photos. Just look at the faces, they express the real happiness and feeling for the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for this feedback. That was my intention.😃

      Liked by 1 person

  4. They are brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks so much for this comment Susie!

      Like

  5. dprastka says:

    Beautiful photos! You have an amazing camera and lens! I’ve seen you share these before but really FUN to see the before and after cropping!! Fantastic! ❤️🐴

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thanks Diana. I knew that for doing the horse shows I needed a longer lens. I have two camera bodies and three lenses. None of them are extremely expensive but they all do well for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That shot of Isabel is a fabulous shot. The horse is looking at the camera, what a bonus. Very nice examples of cropping.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      That shot was a real serendipity. I had a spot ringside where I could get a shot right after the rider saluted the judge and turned to leave the arena. For Isabel a roar went up from the crowd when she finished her test, she leaned forward and put both arms around Bella Rose’s neck and then turned toward the stadium. She is a very controlled personality so this emotion is unlike her. It was so wonderful to see . I was told by other photogs in the media center that I could make a lot of money selling it but that is not a direction I wanted to go in. I sent the photo of Isabel and she liked it.🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m glad she liked it. It’s a great one, and tells the story so well.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful shots indeed before and after cropping 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Ribana!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. pattimoed says:

    Wow, Anne. You have marvelous shots here and great examples of how cropping increased the drama of the image. Absolutely fabulous!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Patti I really appreciate this comment from you. Thanks for this challenge.

      Like

  9. Leya says:

    Such wonderful moments and expressive photos, Anne! So skilled to catch their faces in the right moment, and the trot in its perfect position. Well done with the cropping too – you really enhanced the feeling and the beauty in this sport.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you so much Leya. I appreciate that comment !

      Like

  10. When I wish to paint a horse, the question of cropping and background can be a burning one for me. Much as I’d like to place the horse in a sylvan setting, common sense reminds me that a horse would not likely be doing dressage alone in a wooded glade! Therefore it is very nice to see how you approach this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you I appreciate having your point of view here.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. How cool to attend such a prestigious equestrian event and take amazing photographs! I also enjoy playing with the photo editing features on my computer as I prepare horse photos for my own blog. The crop is my favorite. As you aptly demonstrated, a straight-forward crop edit can really make your subject stand out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you! I had media accreditation for WEG and it was quite an experience. We were treated very well in the media center and had easy access to the ring side for photographs.

      Liked by 2 people

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