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Take Great Photos of Horses

Learn why you should photograph horses and how to capture their majestic mobility and stately air, and much more in a three part series of articles brought to you by New York Institute of Photography (NYI), America's oldest and largest photography school.

In Part 1 of NYI's series on EQUINE PHOTOGRAPHY, NYI writer, Lauren Ragland, takes you to the beginning of horse photography starting with Eadweard Muybridge. Yes, he just happened to be the first person to capture a horse galloping on film. Then, she looks at how to photograph the dashing animals either speeding around a racetrack or poised and grazing in a field. For those who like to get down and dirty, Lauren takes you to the rodeo where rearing and steering is no laughing matter.

Equine Photography Part I, <> focuses on Eadweard Muybridge and his famous photo sequence, “Galloping Horse.” His work acted as the precursor to the movies and inspired people across Europe and the United States to begin photographing animals. This first installment will also get you on your way to photographing those sometimes unpredictable, always loveable animals. For novice horse photographers, discover how to interact with the horses. They each have different temperaments, and it’s important to learn the personality of your horse.

Lighting is one of the most important aspects to consider when photographing animals. For horses, in the early morning or late afternoon, according to NYI, is when the bright sun won’t cast unflattering shadows over the subject. Is your subject most comfortable inside or out? It’s best to keep your model in their comfortable environment.

In Part II of NYI's Equine Photography series <>, you'll get helpful tips and insight into capturing beautiful steeds racing past the clock and towards the finish line. Racing is entrenched in a rich tradition, and photography is a large part of it. There are several techniques you can use to get great racing photos. At a racetrack, a photo finish can be as important as the horse that crosses the ribbon. Try to get as close to the leading horse as possible and take a lot of photos to insure that you have captured the action. Panning with your camera as the horses move toward the finish line is another technique you can try.

NYI will also show you how to take pictures suitable for a glossy equine magazine or for a portrait-sized frame. Learn from which angle to capture the horses. What are the standard shots and the inventive angles? How much of the horse should you get in the frame? And how many horses should you capture? Which ones do you exclude? NYI's series on Equine Photography will answer all these questions and more!

Of course, NYI didn't stop at the finish line, and in Equine Photography Part III, <> jump into the pen to learn the art of photographing those rowdy rodeos. Pay attention to where the steer is headed, but more importantly watch out for any visual distractions and get ready to capture the mayhem. Use a large aperture and a fast shutter speed to throw the background out of focus and draw more attention to the action.

For lots more tips on Equine Photography visit the New York Institute of Photography (NYI) Web site at <>.

Reprinted with permission from the New York Institute of Photography website at <>


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