Easy Photography Tips For Horse Lovers
It isn’t difficult to take pictures. It is however more of a challenge to take good pictures, especially if you are competing with those photos. So I thought I would share with you some easy photography tips for horse lovers, and just taking photos of horses in general.
These tips are easy, nothing technical here. I just wanted to give you some different ideas to think about so you can make your photos even better for when you are capturing memories of your horse, or considering entering a class or 2 in an online horse show.
Remember The Golden or Magic Hour
This has been called the golden hours, but I like magic hour, because when you take photographs during this time, your photos have a more “magical” quality to them because of the light. Magic hour happens twice a day, and it’s not a complete hour, but it is a long enough time to grab some incredible photos. It happens just after sunrise, and then again, an hour before the sun sets.
The light that is offered is warm and soft. It creates a softness to the photos you capture, so the light is not as harsh. Harsh light makes the subject look bad so you want to have soft lighting whenever possible.
And the best part is it doesn’t cost you anything! You just have to plan your shoot for magic hour, and then get ready for some incredible photos.
There are a lot of different types of lighting techniques you can use. But for getting nice photos of your horse, front lighting is best.
And since we are talking about light, let’s talk about how to light your subject. You want the light to be in front of your subject. This will help to eliminate some of the shadows that can show up in your pictures.
Framing is a fancy way to say get your subject in the photo. Make sure you haven’t cut off your horse’s feet or the tips of his ears. If you are taking photos at an event, be sure to capture the rider on the horse. Don’t cut off the top of their head. If you have to back up a little to get all of your subject into the photo, then do it.
Even though some feel you should not crop the photo, if it looks better to you, then do it. But it is best to have the subject completely in the picture, and then determine if you want to crop the photo.
The composition of the photo is the difference between a great photo and a snapshot. The composition of the photo adds interest and will draw the viewer in. A snapshot is just pushing the button and capturing the moment.
But there is so much more to creating a stunning image. By learning a little about composition, you will be able to get great photos of your horse, or the scene.
You want to build interest and depth. A snapshot just looks flat.
For example the composition of a horse and rider at a jumping competition. Practice getting different shots of the horse and rider and the jump.
You can fill the frame, or capture the moment of takeoff.
The composition of the photo is what turns it from a snapshot to a great photo.
To learn more about composition, do some research on the rule of thirds, this will help you to learn about composition. And professional photographer websites such as Digital Photography School will explain this far better than I can.
When you are setting up your shot, think about the background. An uncluttered background makes a better photo. This way the viewer can concentrate on the subject, and not the old horse trailer or wood pile in the background.
It helps if the background compliments the subject instead of detracting from it.
Take some practice shots in different areas to see if the background helps, or hinders your photo.
Horses are beautiful creatures. But they can also look a little awkward in photos, unless the photographer knows how to capture the best view of the animal.
Straight on shots will be all head, and no body making your horse look odd.
Getting The Ears Forward
It seems like the most beautiful horse photos I have seen always have the horses ears perched forward. But when snapping the shutter button, inevitably my horse will always have his ears cocked in different directions.
To solve this you can have a cellophane wrapper in your pocket and crinkle it. He will think he has a treat waiting for him. Or you can play a video on your phone with a horse whinnying. That usually helps my horses to pay attention.
You just need to do something that will take your horse’s focus to the front, where the photographer is in order to get that pretty head shot with the ears perfectly posed.
Perfect Practice Makes Perfect
The best way to get better at capturing incredible photos is to practice. Always have your camera with you. Take random shots when you are with your horse, or go to a horse show and be a spectator with a camera.
Learn everything you can about your camera, and practice what you have learned.
When you can, upgrade your equipment and play with your camera. Learn what you can about shutter speeds, aperture and ISO.
Play with lenses, you can do this by renting them through places like borrowlenses.com. They even have camera packages you can rent, so you can see what a difference a nice DSLR set up can make for your photos.
For example, I use a Nikon D3400. It is an affordable DSLR camera that has a lot of options for creating beautiful photos, but doesn’t cost a lot of money. I love this little camera.
In The End
Capturing beautiful photos is not easy, and it takes practice. But, with practice you will get better and so will your pictures. So keep practicing and learning. You might just find you have a good eye for photography as you are capturing some incredible memories of you and your horse.
If you want a great resource for learning about all things photography I would really recommend you check out Digital Photography School, this is where I go to learn more about taking great photographs!