Great Photos: Get Those Ears Up!By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · February 8, 2010
You've spent an hour trying to get a nice picture of your horse, and you still don't have anything that looks really good. As you go through the pictures you took, see if you can think of ways to improve:
- Preparation Begin with a super-clean horse. This includes scrubbed hooves, combed mane and tail, brushed coat, trimmed ears and muzzle, and polished halter that fits the horse well. Use insect repellant to keep flies off the horse's face and legs. Replace dull, worn-out tack, and don't forget to spruce up the handler if he or she will appear in the photo.
- Background Try to set up some contrast (light horse against darker background; dark horse against lighter background). Avoid cluttered, "busy" backgrounds and objects that will appear to be protruding from the horse's head, belly, or legs. Try to have the legs and feet clearly visible by finding an area with pavement or very short grass.
- Lighting Stand with the sun behind you for best results. Skip the middle of the day when the sun is directly overhead. Overcast days won't produce the light-and-shadow patterns that accentuate your horse's body and coat condition, so wait for a sunny day if possible.
- Perspective Stand the horse up by picking up and placing each leg where you want it. For a side view, stand opposite the horse's shoulder area, and back away a reasonable distance before snapping the shot.
- To get the horse's ears up, try shaking pebbles in a can, puffing a small cloud out of a baby powder container, or turning on a small toy that moves or makes noise. An assistant who will handle only the ears-up device is a great help.