My Photographic Groove!

Anne Sandler, of Slow Shutter Speed blog, has given us this weeks lens artists photo challenge. ” What is your photographic groove? Well, it is not hard for me to answer that. Horses and horse photographs.

When I started blogging I quickly realized that taking photos of horses was not so easy. They are always moving and there are moments in those movements where they look ungainly or as if they were about to dive headfirst into the dirt beneath them. What could I do? Luckily for me I saw an advert for the EPnet (Equine photographers network) course. This was a 6 week course and each week there would be a specific aspect of photographing horses. There was an assignment relating to this and I would submit my photos online and the instructor would give a valuable critique with suggestions on how to improve. I learned a lot. For example, a horse cantering has a moment in the gait where they are going ‘downhill’ and if that is the moment you capture the horse looks dreadful. You must press the shutter and click just at the moment the horses hind legs start to come forward. I am still working on that!

Here are some horse photographs that I like. First a canter photo where I captured the ‘uphill’ moment.

The trot is not so difficult but the ideal is to capture the moment when one of the front legs is fully extended. Since I am often taking photos of exceptional horses in competition they have the talent to offer spectacular trots.

Sometimes is it nice to just capture the head and neck of a horse .

The photo below is my best ever photo of a pirouette. It is tricky to catch the split second when the horse is up in front and sitting behind.

Here is one of the spectacular trots. The thing to notice here is that the angle of the hind leg is very nearly the same as the angle of the front leg. This shows that the horse is properly engaged and not just waving his front legs out in front of him.

Here is another canter photo clicked at the right moment to get the uphill part of the canter stride.

My horse Biasini. This was taken for the photography course. I had him standing in the doorway of the arena and spot metered onto his coat and that took the background to black. My husband had a plastic bag to rattle to get his ears forward. I was amazed when I saw how well all of the photos taken in the arena doorway turned out.

For my technical info I always shoot at shutter priority 1/400 captures dressage horses well but jumpers need more speed. I have a Canon 50-250 lens and longer lens 250-600.With the weight of this long lens I use a monopod to support it when shooting. I never use the motor dive to snap snap snap snap. Since I am a rider I can judge the tempo of the horse’s strides well enough. Also I have stood beside Susan Stickle, the official photographer of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington FL. She takes individual shots as the horses are doing their extended trot across the diagonal. Her photos are superb so I think it is ok to follow her example.

Thank you Anne for this challenge it has been fun to look through the archives and select photos of my photographic “groove”. Click here to see Anne’s photographic groove and in the comments you can see other bloggers responses.

32 Comments Add yours

  1. Prior... says:

    Enjoyed your post and love the photo of Biasini – so clear
    ☀️😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tina Schell says:

    I must tell you Anne that this is one of my favorites of your many wonderful posts. I just got back from a week with our granddaughter and went to watch and photograph her riding her horse (she’s only had him for a few months and they are learning together). Anyway, my photos didn’t even come close to what I was trying to convey so I know how very difficult it is to capture horses in the right way. I sincerely wish I’d read your post first! Excellent images and great commentary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you so much Tina. Horses are tricky to photograph. I’m glad you enjoyed my post.

      Like

  3. kunstkitchen says:

    Terrific stuff! Thanks for the tips. I have taken pics of horses for 20 years. It’s very difficult! It’s been a challenge and a great source of joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Good to know you are taking photos of horses and enjoying it.😀

      Like

  4. Wind Kisses says:

    this is fantastic. I definitely learned some skills here. I can understand why the pirouette is a favorite. It is stunning. I like the trot of the following photo as well.

    We have wild horses here, that frequent a nearby river. Initially I wanted to just get photos of them, and now I think it would be fun to go back with more purpose. Even though they wouldn’t be performing, they really are performers all the time, aren’t they? Very nice collection Anne. Donna

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Donna. When I did thr EPner course another person taking the course took photos of wild horses..I was very taken with them..so I encourage you to take some and experiment with them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sarah Davis says:

    We (my 78 year old father and I) have five on the farm. We have two that are rideable, the others are old men living out their retirement. We are fortunate that we. Can keep all five.

    It took me two years to find my current ride. The first attempt was a horse I returned after a month. Dad always said any horse can kill you. That fool was increasing my odds of injury and his bad behavior was escalating. I felt lied to, but in my mid-50’s I was not willing to end my riding for a crazy horse. Finally we found my current trail horse. He is perfect for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah Davis says:

      Sorry…I had a “senior” moment and posted on the wrong blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful photographs Anne, I love all the action shots and your portrait of Biasini is truly gorgeous 💕🐴 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Xenia. Biasini’s portrait is a favorite of mine too!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. kiangablog says:

    This is a great post Anne. Being a good photographer also includes understanding your subject matter and how to capture the action. You want to show off the horse and rider in the best possible light. I have been practicing taking action photos of campdrafting which involves the movement of a steer around a set course. As you say when you understand how to follow the movement of horse and rider, you are prepared for the best photo op. In campdrafting, if the beast is too far away or the horse has its mouth gaping, you don’t shoot. If you are taking photos for personal training purposes to improve your riding that is so different to publishing for the public! Great shots. Love Biasini’s head shot! Gorgeous boy! Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are right Lynn. I have has shots Jerry the horse’s eye look odd and I have to cut it or the mouth is open. I find having
      Video is helpful for me in learning about what I need to fix. Thanks for your comment.

      Like

      1. kiangablog says:

        You are most welcome Anne. Have a great weekend and keep healing!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. J.W.S. says:

    Nice to learn of your techniques. Very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. bushboy says:

    These are fabulous Anne. I took a lot of photos at a show in the show jumping ring. Lots of duds but some good ones. You are so good at photographing horses in action but Biasini’s portrait is my favourite 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you so much. I appreciate your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Michele Lee says:

    I enjoyed looking through your collection, Anne! I imagine it is very difficult to capture horses, as you wrote. You do a wonderful job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Michele It isn’t easy but it is fun!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Michele Lee says:

        Things that challenge us and provide us with fun are the best things!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Anne Sandler says:

    Great action images Anne! Of course your horse knowledge helps, but I think your photography talent pulls its own weight. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you so much Anne,

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ll never take your talent for granted again.
    Than you for that beautiful insight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      You are too kind. But thank you for this supportive comment,

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Kevin says:

    Anne, thank you for these tips on photographing horses. I’m guessing these techniques could be applied to other animals.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I’m sure they could Kevin. I often take photos of horses in competitions and that places some structure on my photography. For example dressage horses are doing through a test that had a designated pattern. Jumpers have a course that each horse follows . If I was taking photos of wild horses it could be a bit different . Thanks for reading the post and for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Paula Light says:

    All those photos are beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Paula

      Liked by 1 person

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