My Hickstead Experience

Water Wide1
My Hickstead experience. As this was my first time at Hickstead, I decided to take a selection of lenses to try and cover a range of focal lengths that I might need or want to try out.

This is what I took
12mm -24mm
50mm -135mm
80mm – 200mm
1×4 Tele converter

As my access was restricted, I had to work hard in finding locations with good vantage points, but I still came up with a few images that I am pleased with, but wish I could have had access to the pit in the main arena.

I used the wide angle a fair amount which created some different images than I normally would take, but the main lens used was the 80mm – 200. Although the TC gave me more reach, I lost a stop of light and when it was raining and really overcast on Saturday I then had to increase the ISO to ensure I could keep my shutter speed above 1/1000 and I like to keep the ISO at ISO 200. What I really needed when access was restricted is a F/2.8 l300mm lens, but my funds don’t currently stretch that far.

My current post processing workflow in Lightroom is this.
I import my RAW images into Lightroom, where I adjust the highlights and shadow sliders, and increase the clarity. I also do some initial sharpening in Lightroom and usually batch this to all images. As a general rule of thumb, I find that by adding +18 to the shadows and +14 to the blacks works well, clarity I add +6 or +8. Sharpening wise my detail is set to around 38% Radius is set at 1.6, Masking depends on the image, but between 60% & 80%.

My current post processing workflow in Photoshop is this
I create a layer of the original image, then go to curves, click options and snap to midtones, I can usually get my White Balance right using this method and I can use the opacity slider to tweak to taste. I use a Plugin by Nik Software called Nik effects, I mainly use the following presets, darken and lighten centre, Brilliance & Warmth, I sometimes use the Tonal contrast 30%. There are various other presets I use now and then, but the above are the main three I use. I then sharpen and save for web.

I have attached a before processing image and after for comparison.

No Processing
no processing

After Processing
Hicks Bank

Overall view of Hickstead, some great iconic jumps, but without good acess its difficult to photograph.
Any questions let me know.


Author: Fletcher K2Photographic

Fletcher is a Freelance photographer with images featured in Yachts and Yachting, Yorkshire Life Magazine and Equine Health Thoroughbred Owner and Breader. Commissioned work has included the Land Rover Burghley International Horse Trials; Bramham International Horse Trials; Hickstead Derby; The Motocross Nationals; Roger Albert Clark Rally; and the Pirelli Rally. Photography is his passion which is demonstrated through his work.

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