Horse photography tips for during the shoot
Placing your subjects
“Craig showed me you need to direct the model and horse to be in the right spot, and this can be quite tricky! Have a chat with your rider beforehand so you all feel comfortable going into the shoot and know what sort of images you want to achieve. If you’re relaxed then it will help your subjects to relax too.”
Watch the background
“The background and surrounding settings are almost as important as the subject. You need it to complement the horse and rider rather then be a distraction,” Rebecca says.
“Craig reminded me to pay special attention for things that could be problematic, such as large trees obviously coming out people’s heads, and demonstrated how by shifting my viewpoint slightly, I could use trees and surroundings to create a natural frame in the image, and use fences and posts as leading lines.”
Use a narrow aperture to get the face in focus
“By coming in really close with the composition of this shot a connection between the horse and rider is captured. I had to be careful not to blur our model Lou’s face too much, and for that reason Craig advised to shoot at a narrower aperture for a more generous depth of field.
“Craig advised me to set an aperture between f/7.1 and f/11 to keep both the horse and model in acceptable focus. There are occasions when you may want to blur the background completely, and in this case open the aperture up to a wider setting.”
Speed is of the essence
“To make sure I captured the action sequence from start to finish Craig advised me to set the Drive mode on my DSLR to fire at a continuous burst rate.
“My EOS 7D has standard burst mode and high burst rate, which has a small ‘H’ next to the icon. On the high burst rate I could fire an amazing eight frames per second, giving me a better chance of bagging the best shot.”
Use black and white for a traditional look
“This shot looks great in mono! I shot against an uncluttered background, then added a slight sepia tone and a vignette at the editing stage to give the image a traditional appeal, which, teamed with the dressage hat and jacket, makes for an excellent formal portrait.”
Don’t be afraid of high ISOs
“As we were shooting in very low light I had to push up the ISO to 6400 and, although some image noise is evident, I was able to retain a fast shutter speed of 1/640 sec, meaning I got this cracking shot! I also needed to make sure the background didn’t distract from the horse and rider. The timing here was crucial to capture the optimum moment.”