Bob’s Photography Tips


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:

  1. 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.
  2. Always try to use a telephoto lens because it will punch out the background and enhance the horse.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Langrish also had some advice for editing. When it comes time to choose only the best photos, how do you know which ones to cut?

“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.


  1. There is no link to the runners up. And on that note, there is no page for top horse. The only way to find it is through the link on profiles to previous top horses.

  2. I have a Grey Horse my self and learning photography. These are really good facts that ill always rember and remind my self. Besides I think We all know that Gray will never match with white LOL!

  3. I’ve grown up with horses and photographed them since being a teen. I shoot every year/season at several county horse shows each weekend. As commented on earlier, as a professional, composing the shot is key. Explore different angles, get down in the dirt.
    For those action shots, practice “panning”. You can get some awesome shots vs., simply “freezing” the action with a high shutter speed.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here