How Not to Photograph a Horse

Step 1: Do not plan ahead.  Do not bring help.  Grab a random boarder.  Preferably one carrying a huge armload of horse supplies from her car, with a take out container precariously balanced on the top.  Catch her by surprise, throw the lead at her, and hope she drops something, so your horse will look interested.  (Sorry about your salad.)

Step 2: Pick the most distracting backdrop possible.  This is harder than it seems.  You must totally check out visually to not realize you’re shooting your horse in front of gigantic, glowing, industrial stripes.

Step 3: When looking through the viewfinder, ignore the view.   Just shoot!  He’s standing still!  Who needs a horse with hooves?

Step 4: Make sure you have nothing at home with which you can tamper the image.  No Photoshop.  That way, you catch the ‘real’ horse.  The one with an ear growing out of his poll.

Step 5: Distract boarder, horse, and self by jumping up and down, yelling “I think I got one!”  The startle reaction should cause overloaded boarder to drop a pile of horse junk, and her plastic encased dinner, giving you the most awesome stretch shot possible.

Of your three-legged horse.

Step 6: After boarder retrieves now empty plastic container, be sure to alienate her further: beg for one more shot.  Then screw it up by standing at an odd angle to your horse, proving he has no neck whatsoever.  Make sure as many out buildings as possible pop out of his top line.

Brilliant.  You’re all done.  You now have 3 of the worst possible shots you can take.

Fine.  I’m lying.  I put up the best photos.  After getting wonderful, detailed advice on how to take a gorgeous horse photo from a talented photographer, this is the best I can do?

The backstory is in the shadows.  Note pile of junk at boarders feet, and over-anxious photographer leaning over the left hind.


9 thoughts on “How Not to Photograph a Horse

  1. Donna

    You just have to keep taking pictures, from different angles. If you wait for the horse to be in the perfect position and to stay there, well…maybe that might work with the stuffed Trigger statue. Try babies! Even more fun.

  2. Winter

    LOL The shadows are great too. Maybe you could just get a bunch of shots of him in a dark barn using only a cell phone. That’s my specialty. Grainy and indistinct, that’s my horse.

  3. Jen

    Heyyyyyy…I took that same photography class (whaddaya know? :o) I finally figured out how to turn off the autofocus on my *cough* handy-dandy cell phone too. Of course that was not long AFTER missing cool photo op #492…

  4. Niamh

    I think something got lost in translation! I love your commentary, I was laughing hysterically. Another tip: shoot one hour after sunrise or one hour before sunset!

    1. Jane

      I think the thing that got lost in the translation was my brain. I’m still rummaging. I scoured the property today looking for places that would have dark backgrounds with natural light coming in at different times of the day.

      Pretty much that leaves the hay barn. If I take him into the hay barn, the sunset light will make him glow, but I believe in all the photos he will either be eating, or seriously cranky: surrounded by hay, forced not to eat.

      *sigh* I’m going to keep trying!!


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