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natalie

Photography question...

12 posts in this topic

I want to take a few pictures of my boyfriends dads horse. He has had this horse for eighteen years and he isn't in the best health and might not last much longer. I want to take some pictures of him, but I dont know how to get the "best" picture. I have a Fujifilm f20 and if I take ALOT of pictures I get a good one, but I want to have atleast 6... soooo I need some tips. I want them to be perfect! What type of light, setting, ideas for how the horse should be standing, any kind of writing in the protograph what sould be in the background, saddled, etc. The only thing I know to do is spray some baby oil on him to have him shiney... any tip will help!!

Also... any info on how to make an older picture look new?

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You are going to get a lot of great tips on this forum.

My suggestion would be to grab your camera and head out to the pasture around an hour before sunset. Try to photograph the horse in it's natural habitat... something familiar. The last hour of sun light will be beautiful for sure.

If I was attempting your shot, I would probably use a long telephoto lens and shoot as he is 'just being him'.

Try some zoomed in shots as well as some looser shots of him in his environment.

Don't forget to post what you get!!

Good luck.

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I really like portrait shots of horses. Just head shots. Maybe one with him standing next to the horse would be nice too. Make sure the horse is the focus of the picture. By that I mean don't get too far away and include stuff you don't want to be a focus.

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Great tips so far, Natalie.

What breeed of horse is he, and what is his coloring? Coloring can make a difference in how you photograph him.

When photographing domestic animals it's good to get them to look alert and right at the camera for some of the photographs.

With horses, a simple loud pssst from a distance will work, as will a whistle, although depending on the horse it may simply keep its eyes on you and its ears up the whole time you're in the vicinity.

Does the horse know you? Particularly for close-in work, it's a great idea to spend a little time with the horse letting him smell you and get to know you before photographing. Feed him a carrot or lump of sugar or two and you may just have a friend for life.

For different angles, try head on and a variety with the animal from different angles, from near head on to full side to partially or wholly facing away. When the horse is facing away, if you can get his attention and he swings his head back over his shoulder to look at you, that's a really nice look.

Make sure the sun is low in the sky (unless it's a cloudy day, in which case it doesn't matter) and that the sun is on the horse's face. I'd go for a sunny day because with the sun on the face you'll have nice lights in the eyes.

And take your time and do not feel you are in a hurry. It will take quite awhile to do this as well as you want. For each pose, you should take many photographs before moving on to the next pose. That way you'll be sure to get some really nice images. Horses, like dogs and some other domestic animals, are intuitive and highly sensitive to the humans around them. If you are having fun and quietly enjoying yourself you will put the horse at ease.

With the f20 you won't have a fast autofocus, but you might still get some nice shots of the horse being led or the horse walking or trotting in profile. In profile, the focus point won't really change much as the horse moves, making those action shots possible for slow-focusing cameras.

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If the horse has any special markings or quirks that can be captured, you may want to try getting those into your shots as well. I prefer the natural, out in the pasture type shots as well.

A question I have is the horse's coloring. If the horse has a white blanket with a dark head, what compensations should be used? It is a challenge to photograph that color combo on a sunny day.

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Well first of all thanks for the great tips!Second, the horse (Doc) is a Quarter Horse with a lighter palomino color with a white mane and tail. He is also 29 years old so compaired to a human thats about 86 years old, so I can to ANYTHING around him, and I mean ANYTHING! I don't think I will get him to trot or lope, no action shots. We think he has had a slight stroke and kind of leans to one side...

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That's a good color, natalie. It'll be easy to take excellent exposures with a palomino. Much more difficult if it was a pinto with white and deep brown/sorrel in the sun.

Of course, if Doc is leaning, you might have to tilt the camera a little to make him look straight. wink

Best of luck, and share some pics with us when you're done, well you? Sounds like your Bfriend's dad will be very grateful to have pictures of such a longtime good friend. I know I would be.

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HA HA HA! I haven't really been able to get out there and take pictures yet because the weather hasn't been all that great, but here are a few I have takin (nothin special).

The first one is Doc...

HORSES001.jpg

Then this is Ted...

HORSES002.jpg

and again.

HORSES003.jpg

Then, Cody, A/C, Rockey, and Ted.

HORSES004.jpg

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I take a lot of pictures for our saddle club. And it's amazing how many of them want the pictures of their horses with specific saddles or headstalls on. Depending on your bf's dad and what he used Doc for, you may want to incorporate something he used on Doc when he rode him. Also, many of the people I take pictures for, go so far as to use shoe polish on the hooves to make them shine as well (pick the appropriate color) and then wrap the hooves in saran wrap until you get them where you want them so they don't get dirty.

Also, you may want to trim up the "whiskers" if you plan on doing portrait type shots.

I love pictures of horses with the old wooden fencing in the picture personally, like the portrait you have of Ted.

Also, I love the shot of Ted rolling.

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Great advice, Ketch. My wife used to prep horses for dressage competitions, and she did a lot of the type of thing you mentioned.

No different than a person getting hair and makeup done before their portrait is taken. gringrin

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Well he was used to haul elk out of the mountains.. so I don't know about that haha, but good call on the polish! Thanks again guys!!!

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Yeah Steve, those horse people are a different breed (lol), hope my wife doesn't read this.

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