9 November 2010

Equine Photography Tips by Nico Morgan

Just read a wonderful blog post by Nico Morgan: Ten ways to improve your photography of horses.

I think they're very much aimed at the commercial event photographer, not those taking more 'artistic' images: how to get the 'basic', more formal shots to fulfil what the owner or rider will want to buy. You might say you're not interested in commercial photography, and only shoot equestrian images for artistic/hobby reasons , but in my opinion these are the things you need to know before you can pull off more artistic shots consistently.

These are the basics, but they're important to get down. As you become more experienced, with horses and their photography or with both simultaneously, hopefully you come to realise ways you can photograph differently to these 'rules'. I for one already have different opinions about the correct moment to photograph horses in motion: I think a lot depends on the breed or the discipline you're photographing, for one (for example, Welsh Cob breeders may want a photo that shows off the action of their horse's trot) and my favourite moment for the canter will always be before the weight is shifted to the forehand.

I don't shoot horses as much as I should, or as much as I'd like to, for all that they are my favourite subject. I don't get our to equestrian events as often as I would like to and am usually put off taking the SLR to my own stableyard by the dirt. I can't be at the yard for 2 minutes, even if I mean to only go there to photograph, without getting somehow involved and last approximately 2 minutes and 5 seconds before getting surrounded by dust and absolutely filthy. I fear for my camera's well-being.

(No, seriously, I had to send my Ixus in for repairs the last time I used it while working at the yard. Dust particles wrecked the lens mechanism. Truth.)

Wonderful tips (and galleries) like Nico Morgans's inspire me to get out there more and photograph equines and all their surrounding glory! I have a ticket to Olympia this year (puissance night!) so that'll be the perfect opportunity. Although as an amateur I'm not sure how much I'll be able to get around the 'position' rule; pretty much have to work with the seat you get given!

That, and perhaps get round to editing some of those existing shots lying around Lightroom.

While I was writing this, Nico added me on Flickr.
What a nice man.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Vicky, much appreciated.

    You couldn't be more right about the formal nature of what I do. You can, and should, choose your own moments to capture, especially if you are photographing your own animal and know them better than anyone else. I think that is why I try to do as much out of the arena as I do in it!

    You're also spot-on about timing. My points were aimed at passing on the comments from clients about why they like one thing and not another and is completely commercial in its roots. Cantering is the area of most variation as you say, although most are agreed it should be the nearest rather than furthest fore. Another example would be Hackneys, which should be photographed with the knee at its highest and the lower part of the knee vertical. And so the list goes on.