About the banner

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I really enjoy shooting horse racing. 

We visit Keeneland — the historic race trace in Lexington, Ky. — for the spring meet in April and the fall meet in October. It's fun to watch the horses, win (or lose) a little money and enjoy being out with the crowd. We hang around the rail and I grab some shots of horses as they come down the stretch.

But this photo, one of my favorite horse racing shots, was taken from the parking lot.

Honest.

My wife and I were at Keeneland for the opening day of the 2009 fall meet and suffered through a rainy, overcast day. We left the track after the seventh race so we could stop by the hotel before meeting friends for dinner. As we were walking to the car I made a detour to a spot beside the parking lot with a view of the track and the turn to the home stretch. Since the eighth race was about to start I decided to see what sort of photo I could get on the turn.

I was very lucky. The field stayed tightly bunched on the turn, providing me an opportunity to get a shot of the horses running in a pack almost straight at me. Then I ran to the car to beat traffic.

The horse on the lead — Fatal Bullet, under jockey Eurico Rosa Da Silva (orange cap and silks in center of photo) — held on down the stretch to win.

About the photographer

I’m a photo hobbyist who lives in Hilliard, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. I typically spend several mornings each week in the woods of local parks, photographing birds and other wildlife. I also enjoy shooting sporting events and photographing different cities when I travel around the country.

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I began doing photography in the pre-digital, pre-autofocus, pre-Internet 1970s. I had a color darkroom in the basement of our house in our hometown, Ashland, Ky., and on occasion would shoot for the newspaper where I worked first as a sports writer, then as city editor. But I put the camera away in the 1980s after burning out from too many of those "hey can you" photo jobs — “hey can you shoot my son's Little League team," or "hey can you shoot my daughter's wedding." I reached the point where I dreaded picking up the camera.

After taking a vacation from photography for more than 20 years, I was using my daughter’s point-and-shoot digital camera to get some photos of her first college tennis match in fall 2004 (she played four years at the University of Akron) and realized how much I missed photography. After doing the “Nikon or Canon” research, I bought a Canon digital SLR, started adding lenses — that’s my Canon 600 f/4L, the lens I use for wildlife and some sports photography, in the photo above — and have been shooting ever since.