Animal Kingdom Wins Kentucky Derby

John Gress

I photographed the Kentucky Derby for the 8th time this weekend.

By Julian Linden

LOUISVILLE (Reuters) – The glorious uncertainty of horse racing produced an unlikely winner of the $2.2 million Kentucky Derby on Saturday when Animal Kingdom stormed to victory in the 137th Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs…. Read More

John Gress
Animal Kingdom with jockey John Velazquez in the irons wins the 137th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, May 7, 2011. REUTERS/John Gress
John gress
Jockey John Velazquez, aboard Animal Kingdom, celebrates after winning the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, May 7, 2011. REUTERS/John Gress
Trainer Graham Motion (C) holds the winner's trophy as jockey John Velazquez (L) and owner Barry Irwin (R) look on after Animal Kingdom won the 137th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, May 7, 2011. REUTERS/John Gress
John Gress
Race fans watch one of the many races that take place before the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky, May 7, 2011. REUTERS/John Gress
Race fan George Holter (R) walks the grounds before the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, May 7, 2011. REUTERS/John Gress

Sunday's Washington Post Featureing one of my photos.

Capturing the Finish from Hoof Level

The day before the race, all of the photographers meet and through a pecking order, we chose where we want to place our cameras. Because the presence of a human so close to the horses feet would freak them out, the cameras have to be placed into position and triggered remotely.

There is a flurry of activity the morning of the race as we place our cameras, set the focus and run wires. Each photographer has multiple cameras under the rail and they are all fired, for the most part, by wiring them together and running a line to our standing positions 20 feet off the rail. Then the photographer or an assistant, presses a button attached to the line which sets all the cameras off at the same time, capturing the finish of the race.
70-100 cameras were set under the rail for the finish of the race.
John Gress
The seven cameras and lenses I used to shoot the race.

 

 

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