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Recent PostsHorse Race Meetings attended My Web Site Configuration Changes at Down Royal in 2018. Show and Tell - "I know what you did last autumn" The Golden Rectangle The Golden Ratio The mathematics of the F-stop numbers Joey Dunlop - Northwest 200 Road Races High Flyer - Camera Club Show and Tell Show and Tell - Snow
Welcome to my blog which contains comments on my sports photographs
I have over 50,000 photographs loaded in my Horse Racing galleries on my site and so I though I would count the number of meetings I have attended over the years.
As of March 2022 I have attended 270 meetings which equates to photographing 1,754 races - a track meeting normally has 7 races and a Point to Point meeting has normally 6 races - though sometimes if there are two many entries in a race it is divided into what is called into a Division 1 and a Division 2 race. I was once at an East Antrim Hunt Point to Point Meeting at Loughanmore, near Templepatrick where 11 races were run.
I have attached a spreadsheet showing the horse racing venues I have attended.
There are many ways to configure a web site.
I set up my first sports photography web site in 2006 and have been using Zenfolio since 2010.
IN early 2010 I decided to set up Zenfolio by type of sport ie all photographs for a particular sport in a collection of galleries eg Cross Country Running, Mountina Racing, INdooor Athletice etc.
I created a gallery for each event I attended.
When you enter my site you will be presented with galleries for each sport eg Horse Racing, Golf, Mountain Running, motor Cycle Racing, Sailing, Rugby, International Cross Country, indoor Ayhletics, Hockey, General Sports and some other ad- hoc galleries.
If you select Horse Racing you will be presented with the Horse Racing tracks I have attended and within each of the tracks I have grouped the photographs by meetings in each year.
In Zenfolio photographs are uploaded into Galleries. Galleries can be combined into Groups of Galleries to many levels. Zenfolio also has a Collection facility which contains a pointer to selected photographs in their Galleries. This means that the original photograph is only stored once in the system.
In order to allow the viewer an alternative way into the galleries of photographs I have created an index by year from “2005 and earlier” up to the “current year”. Within each year I have listed each event attended with a pointer to the gallery containing the photographs of the event.
Zenfolio also has a blog facility and I have included items which interest me mostly related to the events I have attended.
Zenfolio gas a “Customs Page “ facility which I have used to create an index to my blog which shows a heading for the log entry and a pointer to the blog details.
Zenfolio has many different front page styles and format for displaying sites. I have selected a basic format where I have selected a number of featured galleries followed folllowed by Galleries recently posted with finally the galleries in my site.
The picture above shows Kauto Star and Ruby Walsh winning the JNWine Champion Chase at Down Royal in 2010.
The last meeting at Down Royal Racecourse , arranged by the Down Royal Corporation of Horse Breeders was held on on Boxing Day 2018. The Corporation had run race meeting for 35 years at the course but the lease was not renewed by owner of the Course Mike Roden of Dublin based Merrion Property Group who purchased the site in 2005.
Racing has continued at the Course organised by new owners Merrion Group.
I have taken photographs at the site since 2010 and thought it be appropriate to create some collections of photographs under different headings of photographs I have taken at the course.
The photographs can be viewed at: https://www.hmphotographs.com/f400896471
My Camera Club held a Show and Tell on Tuesday 11th January 2022. The subject was show and tell up to 6 photographs on the topic "I know what you did last autumn".
I submitted 6 photographs as shown at the attached link taken at the second day of the two day race meeting at Down Royal on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th October 2022 - https://www.hmphotographs.com/p453452691
This is a significant racing weekend in Irish Racing with total prize money ofer the two days of 405,500 Euro - 144,500 Euros on Friday and 261,000 Euros on Saturday.
The Golden Rectangle (See pictures at: https://www.hmphotographs.com/p113904293 }
The Golden Rectangle is a rectangle where the dimensions adhere to the Golden Ratio ie the ratio of the width and height is 1.618.
For example if the height is say 10” then the width will be 16.18” (10 times the Golden Ratio of 1.618)
Interestingly the Golden Rectangle can be split into a square with a vertical rectangle at the end (Picture 1). This vertical rectangle also has the dimensions of a Golden Rectangle which can be split into a square and rectangle at the top or bottom and again the new rectangle is a Golden Rectangle and so on. This is the basis of the Golden Spiral.
Back to the original rectangle (Picture 1 ) discussed and the square and vertical rectangle at the end. The vertical rectangle if rotated 90 degrees anti-clockwise fits into the bottom left of the square (Picture 2). It will also fit the bottom right part of the square drawn for the right of the overall rectangle (Picture 3 ). This also applies to the mirror image of the original rectangle where the square is at the right side of the rectangle (Picture 4).
The end result is a Noughts and Crosses shape which is similar to the Rule of Thirds shape with the four focal points (Picture 4 ). Note in Picture 5 the Golden Rectangle is represented in Blue and the Rule of Thirds in Green
I have seen it said that the Rule of Thirds is based on the Golden Rectangle and that the Golden Rectangle focal points are more effective from an atheistic point of view than those in the Rule of Thirds.
The other interesting feature of the Golden Rectangle is the closeness of the shape (1.618 ratio) to the 35mm wide film ratio ( 36mm by 24mm = 1.50 ratio) and the modern full frame camera sensor ( 36mm by 24mm = 1.5 ratio)
There are many architects, artists and photographers who have made use of the Golden Rectangle in their work.
Have you ever wondered where the camera f-stop range of numbers comes from ie 1.4, 2, 2.8,4,5.6,8,11,16.
Well it is fairly simple.
The number sequence is related to the area of a circle and the fact that the difference between 2 full f-stops doubles or halves the amount of light that gets through the aperature ie the area of the circle doubles or halves.
It turns out that if you multiply the preceding number by the square root of 2 ie 1.414 (to three decimal places) you get the next number in the sequence ie 1.4 multiplied by 1.414 = 1.9796 or rounded up =2 or 2 multiplied by 1.414= 2.828.or 2.8 rounded to one decimal place.
It is also interesting that the number either side of a number is either double of half ie 2 and 4, or 16 and 8
I have written out the mathematics explaining the relationship between the numbers and where the square root of 2 comes from.
This is a photograph of the late Joey Dunlop rounding Church Corner during a race at the Northwest 200 road races at Portrush, Northern Ireland in 1987. I scanned this from a 35mm slide some time ago and have forgotten what edits I applied to it.
I liked the colours, that the spectators are out of focus which gives an impression of movement and that the rider is in reasonable focus.
This was taken with a Canon camera with no auto focus, an obviously slow shutter speed and with camera panning.
I selected this photograph for a Camera Club Show and Tell session in early 2019. It was taken at a horse schooling session at the Tyrella Point to Point meeting on 8th March 2014. After Point to Point racing at some venues the course - usually about 3 miles in length with 15 fences - is opened up to allow trainers to school their horses over point to point fences on a proper point to point course. It is a hazardous undertaking for riders as is apparent from the photograph. On this occasion the rider was unhurt and walked back unaided to the central lorry parking lot at the course.
In February 2020 my Camera Club organised an event for club members. The challenge was to "scrummage for images that sum up winter and share the experience with other members". A maximum of three photographs per member was allowed.
I had a rummage and identified three photographs under the title of "Snow" as shown in this gallery.
This was an interesting exercise and in trying to decide what photographs to include I uncovered some photographs I had forgotten about. It was educational to attempt to critique the images and explain why I had chosen them.
I have logged 50,000 visitors on my site by 25th November 2021. A visitor is counted when they open a full photograph. Viewing a thumbnail does not count
On 26th February 2019 my local camera club held a "Show and Tell" evening for members to show and talk about photographs on a visit or trip.
I choose the 150th running of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh race course 20 miles or so west of Dublin in Ireland on the 27th June 2015.
The first Irish Derby was held in 1866 with a first prize of £421. The prize for the winner in 2015 was 725,000 Euros with a total prize fund of 1,25 Million Euros.
The race was run over a distance of 1.5 miles.
The round trip for me was approximately 300 miles - I left home at !0:30 in the morning, arriving at the Curragh at 13:00 for the first race at 15:00. I arrived back home at 23:30.
I had 5 photographs published in the Belfast News Letter.
I took 1,261 photographs over the day and published 608 on my web site:
Photographs in the Show and Tell are at:
My camera Club held a "Show and Tell" Zoom evening where members presented photographs taken during COVID.
I presented 9 photographs taken at various events.
These included photographs taken at Downpatrick and Down Royal race courses, Point to Point racing at Portrush and Kirkistown and runners including Mo Farah running in the Antrim Coast Road Marathon in September 2020.
I was asked last year by the programme committee of my camera club if I would give a talk at one of the club Zoom meetings.
In my preparation for the talk I mind mapped a number of possible topics and came up with a list of 10.
I documented these and eventually chose number 6.
I developed this topic into a presentation and delivered it in October 2020.
My presentation slides can be viewed here:
The exercise of thinking about the possible topics and the creation of the eventual presentation I found to be challenging and interesting as it forced me to think about what my ambitions and goals were in the early days, what I had accomplished and what the current state on my interests were in the Digital age.
Consequently I have decided to publish the document I produced as it is the nearest I have come to producing a photography CV and also it may assist others if they are faced with the request to talk about their photography.
The document I produced can be seen here:
In 2020, I had 156 photographs published in 5 newspapers in Northern Ireland as follows:
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