Action Photography!

There is a secret to photography, and I do not know what it is. I suspect it is very expensive camera equipment.

Well, with horses, the secret always seems to be something expensive.

Anyway, we wanted to take a decent picture of Final Call to put on Equinenow.com. So far, we have tried once or twice a week since January to get a decent picture of Final Call that might show off his physique. And we’ve, generally speaking, failed. Part of it is that our farm sits between four other farms, none of which are particularly picturesque. So every picture has some sort of dilapidated structure in it. I can’t help that. It’s a question of geography. And not having PhotoShop.

So, in the midst of taking these pictures (with the sun promptly going behind clouds, to minimize any sort of healthy sheen that his coat might display) the neighbor seemed to be mowing and Final Call would not prick his ears forward. And as we all know, no one will ever buy a horse based upon a photo in which his ears are tilted in any direction but forward. Horse buyers prefer a look of astonishment and bewildered disconcertedness on their potential purchases.

Final Call and a hat flying through the air

Yes, it lands on his head.

The result being that I lost my patience and threw my Western Pride ballcap up in the air to get his attention. I did not get his attention. But we got kind of a fun picture.

I really hate taking pictures of horses – possibly as much as Cory hates me asking him to take pictures of horses and then leaning out of the saddle and making him click through the review, critiquing each and every photo, and then demanding newer, better ones – as if something will suddenly change and the camera, the lighting, and the setting will magically begin to frame the subject perfectly.

I hate selling horses just as much, but that’s a whole other gripe, a whole other post.

Thoroughbreds, unsurprisingly, look at their best in true action shots. Galloping. My best pictures of Final Call are all of him galloping. Unfortunately, the world seems to want pictures of trotting (please, anyone can TROT) and conformation shots of horses with looks of extreme surprise on their face. Well, you can’t argue with the world. Here is Final Call looking astonished.

What in the world could that be?

What in the world could that be?

I hope it’s everything you wanted it to be, equestrian markets of the world. I’m going riding.

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8 Comments

Filed under Final Call, Selling Horses

8 responses to “Action Photography!

  1. If you could only see my gallery of blurry horse-in-action pictures, you would laugh.

    I do have to say that equipment can help. I have used point and shoot cameras for years, and in good light, with the right settings, they can work beautifully. Motion? Any amount of darkness? Not so great. The shutter lag drives me crazy, and along with the blurry shots are shots of heads or butts because I just didn’t time the shot right.

    Setting burst mode can help, but it’s hard on your poor battery–especially with flash.

    You don’t have to spend a ton, though. I got a Nikon D3000 for my birthday this year? Soooooo much better. Inside the dark, indoor arena when it’s raining is still a challenge, but at least the shutter clicks when you push the button!

    Now I just need the zoom lens. πŸ™‚

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      That’s really the thing. The shutter should click when you push the button. Not three seconds after you push the button.

      Most of my horse pictures are a series because I start clicking a few seconds before the horse enters the frame. It sounds like the White House Press Room when I take pictures.

      I’m also deeply disappointed by our video camera. Which is why there is no video of Final Call. I simply can’t believe how bad the video is. I think it should be thrown into the pond. Or at the CEO of Panasonic’s sports car.

  2. Looks like you got it this time! He looks fabulous!!

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Thanks! Now he needs to go away! LOL! Freaking adore this horse, he’s sooooooooooo handsome.

  3. LMAO! Thanks for giving me a good belly laugh today.

    I think you’ve got a winner with the “astonished” shot though. I know he’s not as shiny as you’d like but if there’s too much sun it will create a glare and disguise his bone structure. In the picture you’ve got here it’s very easy to see his conformation.

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      You know I also hear that about the skinny horses – you can see their bone structure better…. πŸ˜‰

      I had to share the hat picture, glad you liked πŸ™‚ Even though it catches Final Call at a terrible angle, sometimes one has to make those sacrifices.

      I enjoyed watching Cory unconsciously mirror the antics of Arabian halter horse handlers while trying to get the Astonishment picture.

  4. carrotplease

    shutter lag tip: *most* little point and shoots with shutter lag work this way, but not all. Hold down the shutter button about halfway until you hear the camera making adjustments. It will continue adjusting and refocusing as long as the button is held down, when you push it the rest of the way the photo should be much faster if not instant. Downside is that it may not be focused perfectly.

    I do wish more people understood the difficulty in getting good photos – we get knocked for that all the time regarding the canter listings, but seriously, you get about two minutes to work with, a horse who thinks he’s going out to work, no level ground anywhere, and often handlers with no understanding of your instructions.

    • Natalie Keller Reinert

      Kelly, mine does work that way, the only way I ever get any shots at all! Thanks for sharing.

      People would knock you if every picture you had was done by Barbara Livingston. That is what the Internet is for.

      I wish I’d kept the original photo of Final Call – it ended at his knees/hocks. If you like the listing, go see the horse, bottom line. The picture is never a fair representation. That’s true of pictures of ME, too, LOL.

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