X-Bionic Summer Tour 2017 is a premier equestrian event in Samorin, Slovakia taking place at the end of July and it’s spread across 8 race days. I always enjoy visiting beautiful equestrian resort and the annual summer events. Unfortunately this year, the author of the courses did not have photographers in mind. Almost every obstacle was positioned for shooting into the Sun. The rest of them could’ve been placed better. This year’s photostory was saved by two evening sessions.
At the end of July, I visited the beautiful equestrian facility in Samorin. X-Bionic Sphere hosted a four day Equestrian Festival Samorin 2016 and like last year’s Summer Masters 2015, it was a joy to shoot. Althought last year’s event was better organized and with better line-up, I still managed to get some nice photos. The highlight was, once again, a night-session, which attracted hudreds of visitors.
Last sunday I attended Mercedes Benz Grand Prix, the 48th annual show jumping event held in Bratislava, Slovakia. This prestigious 4-day equestrian event is usually held at the end of july or at the begining of the august, which means the most harsh sunlight during the day. The extreme heatwave, which has been torturing us for the past few weeks, made the shooting conditions even tougher.
Sunday saw two show jumping finals and one dressage show during the intermission. The dressage show featured four Lipizzaner horses, which is a breed closely associated with the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria.
As I mentioned earlier, the shooting conditions were tough because of the harsh light and unbearable heat. There was some strong backlight during the morning and extremely strong light during mid-day dressage show. Towards the end of the day, the clouds covered the sun completely, so the end of the day was over-cast. Most of the riders were dressed in contrasty clothes, so the positive exposure compensation was needed at times. I also did considerable amount of shadows and highlights recovery in Lightroom 4.4. I was also happy with the AI Servo performance of my 1D Mark IV and I feel I finally figured out how to use this great camera.
More than 40 photos can be found on my blog:http://hutera.blog.sme.sk/c/334578/Grand-Prix-Bratislava-2013.html. I also posted some of my favorite photos in higher resolution below.
This saturday I spent an afternoon shooting the Linde Grand Prix CSI*, which is a equestrian showjumping event held in Pezinok, Slovakia. The riding grounds in Rozalka had two different sand courses. There were several competitions held on saturday, including Medium Tour, Big Tour and Kids competitions.
The weather was cloudy, with only brief hints of sunlight towards the very end of the day. This kind of weather is a blessing and a curse at the same time. The colors provided by this kind of weather are generally nice, however one has to endure a never ending marathon of exposure compensation to avoid either under-exposure or over-exposure. Another disadvantage of overcast days is the need to use higher ISO sensitivities in order to achieve fast shutter speeds.
Below are some of my favorite photos from the afternoon. You can find 30 additional photos on my slovak blog: http://hutera.blog.sme.sk/c/329344/Medzinarodne-paralelne-parkurove-preteky-Pezinok.html.