After judging the Horse Illustrated 2008 photo contest, “A Horse for All Seasons,” professional photographer Bob Langrish provided some insider tips to help you capture the sharpest pictures of your horses. Here are his top four tips:
- Most important are backgrounds. Don’t put a dark horse against a dark background, or a gray horse against a white background. You want contrasting colors.
- Always try to use a telephoto lens because it will punch out the background and enhance the horse.
- Always pan when you photograph [a horse in motion]. When you hit the shutter to take a picture, don’t stop. Keep the camera moving at the same speed of the horse.
- Always look through the viewfinder and check the whole viewfinder. Don’t just look at the middle [of the image] because you don’t realize you have a lot of space around the outside. Your image of a horse then becomes small in a large picture.
“If you’ve already got a lot of pictures in your library or portfolio, there’s no point in adding anything that is not up to the standard of what you’re trying to promote,” he said. “Look at the position of the legs, ears and the eyes. You don’t want the legs too far underneath the horse, the ears back or the eyes closed.”
Finally, Langrish added, “Never put people or horses at risk when trying to take a photo. You don’t want someone in a field where they don’t know what a horse will do when he’s coming at you at 25 miles per hour.”
Armed with a camera and Bob’s expert tips, you are well on your way to taking beautiful, sharp images.
View the honorable mention entries from the 2008 Photo Contest here.
Read more photo tips from another equine photographer, Sharon Fibelkorn.
Enter the 2009 Horse Illustrated photo contest.