Horseriding backwards (warning : a zillion pictures)

Has2Oct13-49Yet another pony day at our stables, with Marla, her friend Enora, and Marla’s cousin, Anais, tagging along.

Has2Oct13-01For a lack of available rides, Marla got assigned this little guy, Caramiel. Yeah, the wild fellow who was bucking off much more proficient teen riders last week… At first it seemed they would get along well

Has2Oct13-54But his feisty nature was soon to cause otherwise

Has2Oct13-05First everybody went walking in the indoor arena, Marla leading the march

Has2Oct13-03Then a little stirrups and reins adjusting, cinch checking, etc

Has2Oct13-11Size wise they are pretty fit

Has2Oct13-51It even makes climbing on board way less acrobatic than it is on Eclaire (although she did manage that by herslef last week !)

Has2Oct13-18Anais loves riding… but you wouldn’t think so from the look on her face !

Has2Oct13-07That’s crazy contrast, or WHAT !?

Has2Oct13-12Caramiel is a little mean spirited skunk, but he’s also really cute to look at

Has2Oct13-10He started by trying to roll off with my kid on top, which I was close enough to prevent (by a hair) by peeling her off his back a split second before he would have crushed her little legs under his fat belly… Then about two laps later he just went into bronco mode and bucked her off plain and simple. I was NOT happy (this is after she got back on, like a realΒ  little trooper).

Has2Oct13-30Thankfully there were happy episodes as well. It was a game session and the girls had a blast bouncing off the trampoline to get on their rides. Enora has it down pat !

Has2Oct13-13This is what a typical session looks like. A bunch of happy teen girls chatting around and ready to help with riding props or giving the younger kids a hand. This is part of why I love the place so much. The mood is great.

Has2Oct13-33The girls had to follow a little pattern involving going over bars (that got higher)

Has2Oct13-09Slaloming between roadwork cones

Has2Oct13-40Picking up a medecine ball and switching it to the other side

Has2Oct13-39as fast as possible !

Has2Oct13-31They waited to go in turns

Has2Oct13-21Some took some liberties with the imposed pattern…

Has2Oct13-22Gwen had to closely supervise Caramiel so he wouldn’t put up another stunt

Has2Oct13-23and yes that meant trotting ahead

Has2Oct13-36Enora getting off in a rush

Has2Oct13-37and bouncing right back on !

Has2Oct13-34same sequence

Has2Oct13-35getting the hang of it !

Has2Oct13-29off

Has2Oct13-27back ON (Anais and Enora are really good at this !)

Has2Oct13-04Trying to master the BEAST

Has2Oct13-08Are you freaked out at the sheer number of pictures in this thread yet πŸ™‚ ?!

You’ll notice I have made zero mention of photogaphic matters yet. I will. Now. All the (countless) pics in this post are made with the NEX 6 and LA-EA2 + SAL 50/1.4 combination. IQ wise, it works great. I was able to keep the ISO at 800 and still get useful shutter speeds ranging from 1/100 to 1/320 depending on the various lighting conditions in the barn. Some shots did get as low as 1/80th and that caused some blurred/failed shots as well. I really wish Sony would offer less primitive control over its ISO settings on enthusiasts models such as the NEX 6 and 7 !! We need at least intermediary values at will (meaning 1/3 stop ISO increments), because there is quite a bit of difference both in output and shutter speeds between 800 and 1600, and morever between 1600 and 3200 ! And, in a perfect world, being able to set a minimum shutter speed and max value in Auto ISO, AND use said Auto in Manual mode would be invaluable. This ain’t a perfect world though.

Has2Oct13-16The downside of a wildcard that throws little kids off his back is having to handhold it the whole time… πŸ˜‰

Has2Oct13-44Forward… and of course all the more so backwards !

Has2Oct13-26Anais and Eclaire performing a sharp turn

Has2Oct13-32Marla had a clear advantage here having the shorter pony !

Has2Oct13-43Then things went totally nuts

That doesn’t tell you much on how the gear performed, right ? Wrong. Just look at the pics and draw the conclusions for yourself. The IQ is the best I’ve ever had in that same place, with that same light. It worked very well. That’s the output side of the story. What about capture ?? Another totally *different* story. AF of the SAL with the LA-EA2 is a bit schizophrenic. It’s very nervous, but not in the best sense of the term. Sometimes it stutters to death, very rapidly, instead of just going calmly to focus. I did miss a bunch of shots. And this NEX 6 unit I just got has the most horrible black out time. About 1.5 seconds. Believe me when you’re shooting moving ponies it’s an eternity !! It just seems to take that long to *process* the bloody shot it just took. At first I thought I was capturing RAW + jepg. Huh huh, jpeg Fine only. Then I thought about DRO1 being the culprit. Tried with DRO off and it was just as bad. Then, later, once back at home, I tried to switch to Continuous Shooting (but NOT the speed priority mode), and bingo, no more black out time. All you need is a really light and delicate release finger, so you only fire several shots if you want to. Issue solved (will have to check again in situ though).

Has2Oct13-19Well, despite not riding her usual pony, a bad scare and another real fall, she was smiling. Go figure…

Has2Oct13-41All three girls loved the backwards riding !

Has2Oct13-45Which, admittedly, was crazy fun

Has2Oct13-47

Has2Oct13-48

Has2Oct13-46

Has2Oct13-42

Has2Oct13-53Marla kept getting off and back on

Has2Oct13-52And ended up on one last stunt.

So how reliable and useful was my photo combo that day ?? Mmm, the output is obviously very satisfying (well, I’m very satisfied anyway, opinions may vary). In usability there were a bunch of operational quirks, including a few software related ones that could easily be addressed by the manufacturer (ISO issues). I’ll test again with the continuous shooting mode to see if I can work around the terrible blackout time that crippled me so this time around.

Girls wise they had a good time, yes there was some minor drama involved due to larger pony shortage, but we’ll live to tell the tale πŸ˜‰ And of course go back next week !

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About marla2008

Shutterbug. Shallow DOF nut. Mother of Child. Student of the Horse.
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5 Responses to Horseriding backwards (warning : a zillion pictures)

  1. laurent says:

    The newly acquired AF is definitely a great asset in those conditions. Your picture selection is definitely including more “auction” shots than before.
    Not sure about the reverse pony strategy…is the pony going backward and the rider forward?

  2. marla2008 says:

    Ah ah, Laurent that would be the other way around, no ?? πŸ˜‰

  3. Great photos! It does look like you’re getting more in focus, sharp action shots with the LA-EA2. Also, I for one love your pictures so the more you post the better. Keep up the good work!

  4. Pelbaya says:

    Hi!

    About the blackout, I decided to switch to Raw mainly for that reason (on my nex-6).

    I know, DRO is out the window when you make that switch, but I feel the loss isn’t too important.

    Thanks for your interesting posts!

    • marla2008 says:

      Switching to continuous shooting mode takes care of the blackout πŸ™‚ I wouldn’t switch to RAW as I am a convinced jpeg shooter, but thanks a lot for the tip, and for your much appreciated kind words.

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