42nd Street Photo’s Horse Photography Tips

We are going to talk about horse photography today. Photography of animals can be tricky and especially horse. Horses get easily spooked sometimes so its imperative you always have your camera ready.

Catching a mare and her foal, right after delivery or frolicking on their first turnout together, can be photographic paradise. It’s a must that you are always ready because great shots come and go. Horse in action are not always easy to photograph. There are a couple of options here. I have found the most effective method of capturing, being in focus and taking a great image is to set the camera on manual focus. Following the horse and snap if you begin to see the horse jump or play around.

First tip and this goes with all photography, click off as many shots as possible. Set your camera for a fast shutter speed. It’s always best to get close then trying to use zoom, if you must use zoom try to purchase the longest zoom you can afford. If you have to use zoom zoom in quite a bit. If you can’t see the whole horse then take a few steps back. Use your camera and zoom to where your subject looks to be in proper proportion and then back up to get the whole horse in your picture. This will ensure your picture portrays an “in proportion” subject, rather than zooming to fit the subject, rather than zooming to fit the subject and capturing something misshapen.

Shade and overcast is always better than a very sunny day. Early morning and late evenings are always best. When taking shots of horses try to do it outside because barns and stables have terrible lighting.

Get a good angle. Some angle in the front of the horse at around 30 degrees from the horses direct front is best. This will show the horses extensions without distorting its proportions too much. High or low angles have big impact too. If you crouch down while taking your picture it gives a small horse a bigger look. If you are higher than the horse on a hill it can make the horse look smaller. Each horse is unique and high and low angles can be beneficial or detrimental for different horses.

Fill the frame but don’t over do it. If you are shooting too tight, then you have no room for editing later. You want to leave yourself a little room in front of the horse and around the outside. You can fill the frame after the fact with your editing software by zooming and cropping the final image. You can certainly fill the frame with the camera’s zoom or a telephoto lens. A telephoto lens is best if you have a camera with which you can interchange the lenses on. In fact, a telephoto lens makes even a head shot look a lot better up close.

We hope these few tips help you out if you are at an Equine event or just out on a ranch with a lot of horses.


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