"I don't use any external flash, this image is shot purely with natural light"

Equine Photography
(Image credit: Dawn Cotterell)

This award-winning photograph may look like it was sculpted using supplemental illumination – but it was, in fact, shot completely with natural light using a Nikon D750 and a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens (at 1/400sec, f/6.3, ISO640). 

Titled Bandit, photographer Dawn Cotterell captured this stunning shot of a black horse standing inside an American-style barn building. She talks to us about how the photo was taken, and why it works.

Equine Photography
Dawn Cotterell

Dawn is an equine and canine photographer from Dorset, UK. She has ridden horses from an early age and her love of them has transferred into her photography. Dawn’s exceptional skills have earned her multiple international awards, including the Gold Award from the Societies of Photographers, the Silver Award from the Rise International Photo Awards and many more.


This article originally appeared in Digital Photographer, a monthly magazine, and the kitbag essential for pros, enthusiasts, and amateurs alike!

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Kim Bunermann
Technique Editor

Kim is the Technique Editor of Digital Photographer Magazine. She specializes in architecture, still life and product photography and has a Master's degree in Photography and Media with a distinction from the FH Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences in Germany. While studying, Kim came to the UK for an exchange term at the London College of Communication. She settled in the UK and began her career path by joining Future. Kim focuses on tutorials and creative techniques, and particularly enjoys interviewing inspiring photographers who concentrate on a range of fascinating subjects including women in photography, the climate crisis; the planet, its precious creatures and the environment.