Tips for the perfect shot!
By Emily Brewer, from your Equine & Livestock team.
Horses and photography have been my two most loved passions since I was about 12.
Two expensive hobbies, I know!
Here are four helpful tips you can try with your own horse to show them off to their full potential.
1. Flash Photography/Shutter Noise
When shooting around horses, you’ll want to keep in mind how they react to the noise your camera makes and, in particular, flash. Some horses aren’t fussed with flash but it can not only distract the rider and horse, but be potentially dangerous for both if a horse spooks at it.
During the middle of the day, the general rule of thumb is to always keep the sun behind you so your subject isn’t hiding in the shadows. You can however achieve some really beautiful photos, especially during sunrise/sunset. It all depends on what you want to portray.
Indoor arenas can be particularly difficult as what appears light enough to the human eye is much different to how a camera perceives it. Don’t get discouraged – high ISO and maximum aperture naturally means grainy, sometimes blurry photos.
3. Body Language
A horse’s body language gives away how they’re feeling instantly. Ears that are pricked forward indicate the horse is alert – this is the optimal frame to photograph. One or two ears slightly back shows the horse is concentrating on the rider’s aids or listening. If you’re doing portraits, bring a prop such as a treat or a flag to gain the horse’s attention via sight and/or noise.
Pricked or “happy” ears, listening ears and relaxed ears.
4. Getting the Gait Right
There are certain points in the walk, trot, canter and gallop that capture movements of the horse better. Your goal is to highlight their forward motion at all times.
In trot, try to show the horse’s hind leg when it appears most active, with the hock showing good flexion. If he/she isn’t a big mover, then opt for an ‘M’ shape as the horse’s legs meet under the body.
During the canter, aim for the point when the horse’s inside hind leg is furthest under the body and their leading foreleg is lifted off the ground. In Dressage especially, the canter should, ideally, look as uphill as possible. Below is an example to show you what to look for:-
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Contact our A.I.S. Photographic Team – GEORGE ROTH & RHIANNON MURRAY on (03) 8699 8888 or alternatively visit our website.