Empire Polo Club

Ron Niebrugge California, Photos, Travel 7 Comments

Players at the Empire Polo Club, Indio, California.

Players at the Empire Polo Club, Indio, California.

Last weekend we drove up to the Palm Springs area to visit a group of friends from Alaska.  We were looking for things to do when someone suggested we check out the polo games at the Empire Polo Club.  Admittedly, I know nothing about horses, and even less about polo, but I’m always game for a new experience.  Well, I’m glad we went – really was a fun way to spend some time in the sun!  Seeing the horses up close, running at full speeding, cutting, turning – really impressive.  And even better then seeing them up close was hearing them up close!  The sound of a group of horses running at full speed is really something – a dull thunder that really gets your attention.

Now I know what you might be thinking – Polo is only for the rich – and the Bentley parked out front only added to that impression.  And I’m sure playing polo takes a large investment in time and money – it’s not like you can just throw together an afternoon pickup game with your buddies.  But, to watch the polo games at the large, beautiful grounds at the Empire Polo Club was completely free.  Heck, they didn’t even charge for parking which is kind of standard procedure in California.  So if you find yourself in the area and looking for something different, check it out.

For the photo, I decided to use a slow exposure in part to hide a busy background, but also to help show the power and grace of these beautiful animals.  I varied my aperture to keep my shutter speed at around 1/15th to 1/30th of a second.  This image was with a Canon 7D and a 70-200 f/4 with a 2x converter set at 238mm.  The exposure was 1/15th of a second at f/45 and iso 200.

Since I was enjoying the day with friends I didn’t spend much time with photography – I would love to go back for some more serious photography.

Comments 7

  1. Great photo Ron, as usual! Also thanks so much for including the camera settings you used. I was interested to see that you used the 70-200 f4. Is that IS or non-IS? I have both the f2.8 and f4 IS versions of that lens, and can’t decide which one to keep. The f2.8 is SO much bigger and heavier that I don’t know if it’s worthwhile. What Would Ron Do? 🙂

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    @ Richard Thanks! It is kind of like hockey on horses – worth checking out.

    Hi Genevieve! Thanks! That is a tough question. I actually have the 2.8 IS. As you know, it is such a trade-off. I like the 2.8 because I can put it on the Canon 7D with a 2x converter and it gives me a fairly lightweight, but fairly powerful combination that is great for wildlife. It is especially nice for hikes where I might see wildlife but don’t want to carry a heavier lens.

    But, if wildlife isn’t a priority – and / or if you don’t have converters, then there might not be an advantage for the faster lens. The f/4 is a very nice, sharp light-weight lens.

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  4. Great shot. Panning is something I’ve been meaning to learn. You really captured the speed of the horses. I love the motion of their legs.

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