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  #138 Creatures, Great and Small
Entry 3 of 25
Draft Horse Pulling Competition       ©2014 SteveBee
Panasonic DMC-G5       3rd place, 179 points
1/50s, f4, ISO 1600, 90mm, Normal Program, Center Weighted Average, no flash
Post-Processing: crop, clarity, sharpen       Extra Info: The horses are pulling a flat bottom sled loaded with several thousand pounds of weight. The maximum weight pulled was 11,000 lbs!
21 comments on this entry
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38 days ago
    This just came up in the random top fives from the past. I'm so glad it did. Great photo, great viewpoint. It really shows the power and the effort that the horses are putting into their task.

Jade O.
Feb 18, 2014
    I knew there was a skilled photog behind the lens. Congrats!

Feb 18, 2014
    Thanks for all of the comments. This was a fun event to photograph. The horses are magnificent and the venue permitted moving around to shoot from lots of different angles.

Feb 18, 2014
    Congratulations, this was my top choice too. Super photo!

Feb 17, 2014
    So glad to see this one place so high - great shot!

Feb 17, 2014
    Congratulations. My top choice; I loved the atmosphere you recorded.

Feb 17, 2014
    I thought this was a terrific shot and it was my first choice. Happy to see it do well. Congrats.

    Comments After End of Challenge    
    Comments During Voting    

Feb 17, 2014
    Loved this from the first. Great shooting angle reinforces the power of the horses. I've seen many of these competitions and am always impressed by the relationship between the animals and their owners.

Feb 17, 2014
    You caught so much movement in this shot; the horses noses, the dirt flying up. Love this shot!

Old Finn
Feb 17, 2014
    Excellent photo.Interesting topic, good sharpness and composition. Nr 1 in my favs.

Feb 16, 2014
    I feel sorry for the creatures pulling the weight, but I suppose those big muscles have to do something...
These are two magnificent horses! Your point of view adds drama and makes me wonder if you were in danger. The lights and glow between the horses distracts. The men's expressions add interest to the photo. In my favs.

Feb 16, 2014
    How did you manage to get this shot without being trampled to death. Great action and a wonderful show of strength.

Feb 16, 2014
    Excellent work. Love the angle

Jade O.
Feb 15, 2014
    Very nice. You managed to pull off a tough and complicated shot here. Great scaling (horses are dominating the frame and the clear subjects), lighting (everything in the foreground is well exposed, everything in the background is either washed out or dark), great mood (the lights overhead against the roof forced the eye down to the action), great sense of place and position (the low angle adds interest and helps keep the attention on the action where you want it, minimalizing the background distractions), great composition (the horses are centred on the horizontal and vertical intersection of the rule of thirds divisions, three men on one side and one on the other - with a fifth in the background avoid the static presentation of a balanced 2+2 composition, and you've avoiding slicing the frame in half either horizontally or vertically with any background or framing elements), and great action (you've caught the power of the horses and the stride of them and the men all out of sync with one another -each figure moves independently rather in lock step). Negatives? Well the horses are in sharp focus which if you had to choose is what you pick, but if the men were also in sharp focus it might make this even better and yes, that foreground eating up the horse hooves - and men's feet. A smidge more and you've have amputated both man and horse; a smidge less (lift that lens an inch) and you've have a near perfect shot.

My No. 2 (second only to Grace). This is a fine shot; Grace is equally outstanding in a different way - I had to pick one.
Edited on Feb 15, 2014

Feb 14, 2014
    KJW, I don't think you need to worry about the horses -- they are not abused. They are just like human athletes -- well fed, well trained, and superbly conditioned. They are not prodded in any way to pull -- on the contrary they are so eager that the biggest problem is holding them back long enough to get them hooked to the sled!

Feb 14, 2014
    So many interesting characters in this. I love the horses expressions showing how they are hard at work.

Feb 14, 2014
    Wow that's a lot of weight, not sure I personally would condone this type of entertainment. But personal feelings aside since I'm only commenting on the entry it is a wonderful shot of the horses, really like you shot from the low perspective.

Feb 14, 2014
    Sharp, clear image. One can feel the power in these horses. Nicely done.

Feb 13, 2014
    Great depth to this image. The angle you chose adds to the feeling of depth. You had to be close since you don't say you cropped and you were at 90mm. Must be something to stand in front of these strong animals coming right at you!

Feb 13, 2014
    Forkcandles -- No, the horses are pulling the load and it makes no difference whether there are two, four, or six horses or how they are harnessed and connected to the load.

Feb 13, 2014
    the extra info is some ways incorrect, the horses are actually Pushing against the harness which happens to connected to them.
horses in 2x4 or 2 x6 formation will pull as they are connected more to the frame of the carriage.
that said like the picture with a tighter crop losing the light brown of the foreground and the first row of lights at the top
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By SteveBee

United States

116 Challenge

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