Summer 2014 at Saratoga Race Course

It was a whirlwind summer. This summer I spent a lot of time on my photography, and with the Saratoga Race Course practically in my backyard, I took to the Oklahoma Training Track, the main track, and the back stretch to photograph horses in a variety of different environments.

On several occasions, I went to the Oklahoma track at dawn to photograph the horses warming up.  The first time I went, I had my Tamron 150-600mm rental with me.  This lens has an incredible range and a decent performance for the price, but the slow aperture made it difficult to use in a number of situations.  If I were to invest in a telephoto lens, I'd rather have a faster aperture and less range, where I could add a teleconverter when needed.
Morning Workout @ 600mm

Oklahoma Track Viewing StandThe Whitney Viewing Stand allows you to view the horses from above without the rail getting in the way, but I find the composition from that vantage point to be less interesting.

A Pause to Reflect

One morning, my friend let me use her 300mm f/2.8 lens.  She warned me that I would become addicted, and she was right!  This lens is something else.

Riding Into the Sun

One of the Last Summer Sunrises

Oklahoma Workout Series 9

At the Training Track

Another Sunrise at the Oklahoma Track

Onto the back stretch.  Another friend allowed me to use her 70-200 during one of the back stretch tours I went on. 

A Walk Through the Back Stretch Stables

Back Stretch Workout Pan

The 70-200 has a great IS feature that compensates for only vertical movement when panning.

Back Stretch Breakfast

Horses in Stables at the Back Stretch

Meeting Buddy at the Saratoga Backstretch

At the back stretch tour you get to meet Buddy, a pony who helps the race horses stay calm.


Horses Warm Up at the Backstretch

Stick Out Your Tongue!

Trotting Horse at the Backstretch

Now onto the main track!

Here Come the Horses

Which Horse?

Saratoga Race Course:  Watching and Waiting

Saratoga Race Course:  Waiting for the Horsies to Go By

Out of the Gate

Happy Travers Day!

Horse Bath Time


Number 6

Number 7 Takes the Lead

Grand Stand Crowd

At the end of the summer, I made a sort of time lapse of many of the photos I took at the track.  I thoroughly enjoyed capturing the sights and scenes of the track, and I can't wait for next year!

Tools I used to create the photos this post:  Canon EOS 60D, Canon EOS 6D, Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM, Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USMCanon EF 135mm f/2.0L USM, Adobe Photoshop CS6


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