Monday, January 30, 2012

We have a winner!

Thank you to everyone who participated in my camera phone photography contest. It was very difficult to narrow it down to only one photo, but ultimately, it all came down to this eye-catching shot of Havre de Grace in the paddock before going on to dominate in the Grade I Beldame. Congratulations to the winning photographer, Derek Brown! Here is Derek's entry:




Several aspects made this photo stand out among the rest. For one, this was a contest for pictures taken with a camera phone, which makes the general process of photography tougher than usual. Taking a good picture of a race horse in a paddock can be extremely challenging--even with a professional camera. The subject's movement is usually erratic, and the shadows from trees make lighting tricky. Not only is Havre de Grace in focus in this shot--Derek actually froze the subject in motion while panning his camera phone--she appears to be looking right at him. Add to the fact he caught a nice moment between horse and trainer, and you have a unique and striking photo. Here's what the photographer had to say about his picture:
"Belmont's Super Saturday card had so many great horses, but the star of the entire show was clearly Havre De Grace.  I scouted several spots in the paddock to try and get a shot of her before heading out to the track. The horses only go by one time once the riders are up, and from past experience shooting with an iPhone, it's pretty easy to mess up the shot.  I found a spot just before the horses leave the paddock that wasn't crowded and snapped a shot as she was walking towards me.  The picture was horrible - it ended up cutting half of her off, along with jockey Ramon Dominguez's head. I tried once more as she was directly in front of me and ended up with this photo.  I brightened it up a little bit in Camera+ with the clarity effect, then used the Lomo-fi filter in Instagram. It wasn't until looking at it later that I really noticed how Larry Jones looking at her - that look was so genuine and conveyed exactly how much he loved that filly. It's an amazing feeling to be so close to greatness, and watching her win that day gave me chills."
Follow Derek on Twitter @NJDerek. Congratulations, Derek! 

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