Live Action Horse Racing Photography By Dave Black

1 hr 59 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

Dave gets up early to document everything that happens in the course of a day at a working racetrack, while sharing tips and tricks he’s learned over a career that spans 30 years. You’ll learn about all the gear he uses, how to set up a remote camera, the importance of choosing the background in each of your shots, why you should focus on the small details as much as the wider panorama to help tell the story, and so much more!

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Join Dave on the track as he introduces the class and goes over the gear he is going to use for the shoot.
Dave wraps up his gear overview.
The day at the track starts in the early morning hours, and Dave is on location ready to capture the pre-dawn activity.
Shooting before sunrise requires creative approaches to locking in focus and working with available light.
Capturing close-up details helps to tell the story of the place as much as the wide panoramic shots.
Look behind the action and make sure your background is free of distraction.
Dave walks through the gear and the process of setting up a camera to be positioned and triggered remotely.
When placing a remote camera you need to work within the rules and guidelines of the property owners.
The top of the stretch is Dave's favorite place to shoot horse racing.
Timing is that hardest part of shooting the start of the race.
Little details around the track help to fill out the story of a day at the track.
There are lot's of color and crowds around the paddock as horses are paraded around before the start of a race.
Panning the camera at a slow shutter speed is a great way to show the subject in motion.
Choosing your background is always an important consideration while waiting for the race to start.
Dave shares his process for making his selects at the end of a shoot.
The process of choosing your selects is almost a skill unto itself.
Dave wraps up the class with a review of what was covered before leaving the track.
Profile photo of Dave Black

Meet your instructor

Dave Black


As a freelance photographer for over 30 years Dave's work has primarily centered on the sports industry for such publications as Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek and the award winning TV show Sports Century on ESPN. The list of event coverage includes the Masters, Kentucky Derby, National Football League, NASCAR and extensive work regar...

Dave's Courses


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of drew4 drew4

    Dave Black could be reading out loud from a telephone directory and he’d still be engaging.

  2. Profile photo of Patricia Patricia

    This course was fun informative and inspiring. I am glad I am not the only one throwing away a ton of photos after an equestrian or canine event where flashes are understandably taboo. I am going to take my notes go practice and watch it again.
    Thank you

  3. Profile photo of Myra Hencher Myra Hencher

    Thank you. That was informative from the beginning to end. Appreciated the respect you showed to the track staff and the horses. I do a lot of horse photography (portraits, shows, cross country jumping etc), mostly for personal purposes, and you’ve inspired me to go back to our Standardbred Race track to try some of your angles and other techniques. I also hope to try a bit of motorsport photography this summer, so have tried to soak up as much of this course as possible and have made a “cheat sheet” of notes on my cell phone:)

  4. Profile photo of Joseph Crawford Joseph Crawford

    This was an extremely useful course. I loved how Dave emphasizes getting up and getting to the location early. You can get a log of nice shots with the beautiful morning light before the racing starts, it’s the details that make the day.

  5. Profile photo of Franklin Barbiero Franklin Barbiero

    In-depth technique, Fun to watch, inspirational approach and delivery—great photography with really great Karma. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  6. Profile photo of Ed Ed

    I really enjoyed Dave Black’s video on Horse Racing Photography. I viewed it on a whim, figuring that if he was good, he would present techniques I could learn from even though I am unlikely to ever shoot a horse race. I was right. He did a great job of giving techniques for many kinds of fast action events. I wish I had seen this before shooting a bike race recently. His images are beautiful and artistic and convey a range of feelings. I especially appreciated the section where he discussed and evaluated his sequences and talked through the selection process. I would like to see more of that. Very good training. I’ll come back and view this again. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  7. Profile photo of KeithOrmerod KeithOrmerod

    Thanks Dave for such a great presentation. Lots of great ideas that I’d love to try out. Looks like the job was a little brutal on your skin as I saw it turning more red as the day progressed. I’ve seen a lot of your other training films and have enjoyed each one.

  8. Profile photo of Claude King Claude King

    As always, Dave Black is an excellent instructor as he packs so much useful information that you can take away and implement in similar type sporting situations. Dave’s teaching style is friendly and his technical demonstrations are easy to understand. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  9. Profile photo of Michael Steighner Michael Steighner

    Dave…….you are an AMAZING teacher and inspiration :) Great class! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  10. Profile photo of Gary Clarke Gary Clarke

    Watched this for any pointers on motorsports photography and it proved to be very useful for that purpose, not just horse racing. Very useful taking viewers through the process from start to finish of the shooting day i.e. not just action shots. I’m not a great lover of panned shots that have the main subject blurred – I like them sharp with just the background blurred – but I took Dave’s comments about looking for ‘points of focus’ – will give it a try next time. Another great course, my first year of subscription is proving to be good value for the money. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  11. Profile photo of alanjsmith93 alanjsmith93

    WOW! Now I understand why I didn’t really like most of my shots from my only track experience, I will now go back and do it again since he’s enlightened me on my wrongs… Thank you Kelbytraining!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  12. Profile photo of vameza vameza

    Daveīs course is fantastic! The experience of shooting in different situations, and the followed discussion about how to use different aproaches helps teach a lot about photograph in general. The “Daveīs” way of teaching inspire me to go futher in learning photography techniques. The selection of pictures is another point of interest, because, as he pointed out, you can get a lot of pictures, but some will be nice and useful in a portfolio. Nice course, as always, Dave! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  13. Profile photo of Wayne Carey Wayne Carey

    Awesome video series! I really enjoy any series that involves Dave Black. He’s very entertaining and extremely informative. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  14. Profile photo of Wayne Wayne

    Dave Black’s passion about his work can be felt through the video. I enjoy watching all of his work on Kelby Training, it is not only informative but inspiring too!
    Thanks Dave. Hope to see some more of your work soon. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  15. Profile photo of Ross Ross

    This is a tremendous class. Dave Black is one of my favourite instructors because he knows his subject and gets his message across with clarity and speed. While the class is about photographing horse racing, the principles are usable in a variety of scenarios. I will be reaching out to my local race course to inquire about coming out to photograph. Inspiring! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  16. Profile photo of 1302543 1302543

    I have been around race tracks a good part of my life, but I have struggled to capture a good racing picture. But with Dave’s tips I hope to do a better job. Thanks Dave for going through equipment, shutter speed, ISO, F-stops, etc. Especially the part of what makes a good racing picture. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  17. Profile photo of Ray Warren Ray Warren

    Dave Black is brilliant. I get so much out of his classes. If I could have a day with any photographer in the world he’d be on my shortlist. Thanks. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  18. Profile photo of Scott Chandler Scott Chandler

    Dave is excellent as usual .. Please have him do more. Great format he is informative and entertaining. Dave and bill fortney are the best.

  19. Profile photo of Robert Thompson Robert Thompson

    I think Dave is one of the best and most versatile photographers out there and a super instructor. Looking forward to learning from him at Photoshop world in Vegas! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  20. Profile photo of Raymond Diehr Raymond Diehr

    Big fan of Dave Black and all his Kelby content. Very thorough and well put together. Hits on all the things that will make you better right out of the gate (no pun intended). Liked his documentary approach because so much goes on in the barn area, or at clockers corner during workouts… the paddock area, grandstands, winners circle… they’re all great places that offer fantastic image opportunities. Liked how he demonstrated how to get through the day while addressing challenging lighting scenarios. Went from very low light, to midday light, to afternoon lighting conditions with great recommendations on how to deal with each condition. Track etiquette is very important and I’m glad he talked about it as he went through the day. Very well done…. again! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  21. Profile photo of maugbiker maugbiker

    Absolutely marvellous course. Very well done…love Dave Black as a teacher he es so passionate and simple for explaining, hope to see more of him very soon…all the structure of the course was excellent…same as real life. Thatīs always the way the courses should be. Grab a bunch of good tips for my sports photography! One thing that itīs important a not metion regular in the courses is how to focus, wich feature we have to use for each case, for a Nikon camera we have Continuos Focus but do Dave uses single point, 9 points, 21 points, 51 points, 3D…., the point was placed on the center? It moves to the side depends of the composition? Those kind of things are little details that I think are very important. And this is not only Daveīs it applies for all the teachers. You should do a course focus on the process to get Focus! ,) —- Yes, please post my feedback

  22. Profile photo of John Kirwin John Kirwin

    Excellent course…picked up some good tips. Have watched all Black’s course and hope for more. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  23. Profile photo of patcash patcash

    Love Dave!!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  24. Profile photo of Kyrunn Kyrunn

    Just watched Dave Black’s course and it’s amazing. He really knows how to get the most out of the situations and adapting with different lenses and styles. I could watch Dave Black all day long!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  25. Profile photo of chuckriley chuckriley

    Dave Black’s horse racing photography course is fantastic. Chock full of great information. Dave is still at the top of his game. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  26. Profile photo of Charles McGill Charles McGill

    Very enjoyable! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  27. Profile photo of Gary Kieltyka Gary Kieltyka

    Another fantastic class by Dave Black. I liked all of the different situations he used so that no matter what equipment you own you will find something you can use. Also liked the review so that we can see what works, what doesn’t and that every shot is not a keeper. —- Yes, please post my feedback

Loading your account dashboard