Like all arts, horse photography can take a little time and work to master. That is why we believe it is useful to share some tips that will help to take good photographs of these magnificent and noble animals. The technique is not difficult and with these ideas the taking of horse photographs can be significantly improved.
1.- Give Them Traits When Shooting The photos
With this, the horse will be more relaxed and curious about the goodies we give them when he is near us, which is optimal when you want to take photos that show their different expressions, and it is even possible that they even follow you when you start to walk away. Also like most domesticated animals, they like to receive their prize after their arduous modeling work.
The preference of horses for carrots is known, but you can also give them apples, oatmeal or even cookies. To find out about the food preferences of horses you can search the web.
2.- No Flash In Horse Photography
When you are near a horse, never use the flash, as it can scare him and thus spoil your photography session, and more, it can even be risky for you, the rider or the horse. Horses are fantastic animals, but they tend to get scared easily, so it is advisable to be careful with our attitude and with the actions we take when we are interacting with them. The more personality the horse shows, it is usually more sensitive to what happens in its environment.
3.- The Best Angle
When making rear or front shots, it is better to make them from an angle of about 45 degrees, and if possible taking a position that allows you to have the impression that the 4 legs are separated by the same distance, which makes the shot look Much more balanced.
When you take a picture try to make the camera level similar to that of the horse, or failing that slightly lower, although this requires you to lean. Try to avoid the shots in which you are at a higher level, because this makes the horse look with very short legs, which looks very ugly.
4.- Body Lenguage In Horse Photography
5.- The Right Moment
When you are photographing a jumping competition, when the horse jumps vertically the front legs of the horse must be observed, and shot at the moment the knees pass just above the obstacle.
If the horse is jumping on bushes, attention should also be paid to the front legs and the appropriate time to take the picture is when the horse’s knees are in the middle of the obstacle.
It is always better to take the photo when the horse is climbing in the jump instead of taking it when it is falling.
6.- Right Settings For Horse Photography
The best combination for horse photography is using a high shutter speed and a low ISO, especially when taking outdoor photographs.
When you are photographing indoors, it is very likely that you will have to sacrifice the low ISO to maintain the necessary shutter speed. The appropriate shutter speed for action photographs is 1/500 seconds, using an aperture of about 2.8.
On a bright and sunny day, a good combination of values could be an ISO of 100 with f / 4.5 aperture and a shutter speed of 1/840.
7.- Be Patient
When you take pictures of horses you have to star in a relaxed mood, since dealing with them is quite similar to dealing with children, that is, patience has a preponderant role.
We must try not to get angry when the shot becomes difficult, since if the horse feels angry or with bad disposition, the result will be even worse. As we said in a previous paragraph, it is essential that the horse is well disposed for the photography sessions to be successful
8.- Video- How to shoot Horse Photography
9.- Latency And Velocity
In general, digital cameras have a certain amount of shooting latency. This means that between the moment we press the shutter button and the moment the photo is taken, a small interval of time passes. Therefore, it is essential to know the camera well, and if possible, do some tests beforehand to be sure of the latency that the camera which is being used exhibits.
In equestrian events the most interesting photos are made in motion. This means that the proper speed has to be used to freeze the movement.
The speed to be occupied depends on the photographer’s preferences, but as a reference we would say that the speed would have to be around 1/500.
Luminous lenses are needed so that the photographs do not come out dark. To compensate for the exposure time of the sensor, the diaphragm must be opened further, and if this is not enough, the ISO sensitivity can be increased.
10.- Using An Optical Zoom
A zoom help you to improve even more your versatility when making horse photography, that’s why we cannot emphasis enough the convenience of using this great device when taking photos. Here is a great video tutorial about how to get the best from a Zoom.
Final Thoughts About Horse Photography
It is also necessary to emphasize that because you can not use flash, you need to reduce the exposure time as much as you can so that the photos are not blurred, and when this is done, the diaphragm must be opened more, which will mean loss depth of field.