When the Horse is the Star: Getting Equestrian Photography Right
Most of us associate professional photography with family portraits, weddings, real estate ventures, and public events. However, we need to remember that other scenarios may require the use of a highly trained specialist. The good news is that Piers Photography is able to cater to nearly any need imaginable. However, we should also highlight that dealing with equestrian settings is thought to represent one of the most challenging tasks for any photographer. There are numerous elements which must be addressed and nothing should be left to chance. Let’s therefore take a quick look at a handful of expert recommendations.
All About the Lighting
Lighting is crucial when photographing any subject and this is just as true when referring to horses. It is therefore best to schedule a session during the early morning or the midday when illumination levels are optimal. We should also note that this will prevent you from using a flash that may otherwise spook the animal.
Wisely Choose the Available Background
Try to select backgrounds that contrast with the colours of the horse. You will otherwise find that the tones blend into one another and result in a rather flat overall appearance. If optimal conditions are not present, it may be wise to use a wide aperture. This will help to blur any background elements while drawing the attention of the viewer to the majestic animal in question.
The Right Type of Lens
Most photographers prefer working with standard lenses (these tend to mimic what the human eye processes within its visual field). However, it could also be prudent to invest in a high-quality telephoto lens. Telephoto lenses enable you to take precise photographs at a distance. This is obviously important if you are intending to capture horses within their natural environment or in the event that the horse is not comfortable being approached.
In terms of lenses, another recommendation involves using one which is compatible with burst mode settings. A burst mode is often used when photographing moving objects. Of course, there is nothing more grandiose than capturing a stallion or a mare in the midst of a gallop. Experiment with different filters in order to appreciate which settings bring out the best in the horse.
The Finer Details
Traditional equestrian photographs focus upon the entire animal. While there is indeed nothing wrong with this strategy, many photographers also enjoy focusing upon discrete elements. Examples include the eyes, the mane or details of the bridle. This technique will provide an up-close-and-personal view of the horse while adding a further sense of depth. They can also be excellent additions when creating an entire photographic portfolio.
Some horse owners avoid taking pictures of an animal when its ears are down. Erect ears provide a flavour of majesty and they also display confidence. In terms of proportions, an ears-up pose will likewise have an aesthetic impact upon the shape of the head. In the event that you are struggling with a horse that refuses to accommodate, there are some interesting options at your disposal. For example, you can make a series of clicking sounds or entice your photographic subject with food (such as an apple) in order to grab its attention.
These are only some of the numerous ways in which you can hone your equestrian photographic skills. Do you have additional questions? If so, please contact Jonathan at Piers Photography. Not only can we provide targeted advice, but we even provide a set of stables in Norfolk if you hope to leave nothing to chance. We look forward to speaking with you!