Jun 12 2003, 09:32 PM
I'm addressing this to all photographers, and "would be" photographers.
If you could truly influence the owners of the horses you are asked to photograph, what would you say to them as it regards how the horses are posed and prepared for photo sessions? I know they are paying you, but just how effective are you in trying to influence a truly artful session?
Do you as a photographer, or would-be photographer, prefer that horses not be artificially enhanced via the use of clippers, excessive oil, exaggerated poses, etc?
I'm not a good photographer but I hope to be one day. l consider photography art and it will always reflect the person behind the lens in some way or another. We all see things differently.
What I'm trying to get at with this line of questions is, "Can photographers begin to make a difference in the way horses are presented, posed, and generally photographed?" I look at many of the body shots of American Arabian horses and I am bored to tears most of the time.
A really creative photograph of a beautiful horse should not only make the viewer ooh and aah, but if he/she is looking to breed a mare or make a purchase, it should be alluring enough to make him really want to see the horse in the flesh. How many of those body shots do that for you, huh?
C'mon aficionados, jump in and comment!
Jun 12 2003, 11:11 PM
I can take excellent photographs but I am a long way from being a equine photographer because I really don't know how to get the horses in places to capture the really great images. That is why I am prepared to hire a professional for really critical photographs.
We hired Scott Trees for the photogrpahs we used in the Arabian Horse World for Kordelas. He didn't shoot any "posed shots" in which the horse was held in position. They were turned loose or were allowed to move around on the lead to look at things. Scott played with the lighting and background. He did things I would never have thought of and it was a great learning experience for me.
It is really sad that I can't afford to "publish" a lot more of the images he captured and I have on CD because there are many more photograhs of our horses and farm that are beautiful and interesting to view.
Denise Hearst the editor of the World encouraged us to shoot Kordelas "naturally" as she prefers it. We were happy to oblige. Kordelas was bathed and we used a little baby oil on his muzzle and eyes and a little Show Sheen on his main and tail but nothing else. We didn't trim him at all.
The magazine is just in circulation so I don't know what people think of this very natural approach to presenting a horse that is now a US horse. We shall see but I hope it helps start a trend because I think the over goomed, over trimmed, over the top US show horses actually detracts from the appearance of the horse.
Jun 12 2003, 11:59 PM
Though not a professional equine photographer I am a serious amateur.
When I take pictures of horses I prefer a horse to be presented in a neat, natural way in a natural environment. By neat I mean groomed to look his or her best but NOT show "gooped" as I call it. Rather like what Dick did for Kordelas. Pictures such as the "honest" one of Kordelas really stand out in my mind as I am actually able to "believe" that Kordelas looks like that. I have experienced many a time when the picture of a horse that I've seen advertised causes me to not even recognize it as the same horse when I see it person!
The below is an image I took that appeared on the back cover of this months Canadian Arabian of my colt Baalheem.
Baalheem is completely natural, that is he was brushed but not clipped, his whiskers were not shaved off, his eyes weren't greased or balded and there is no show products on him at all. This picture is not retouched in any way (only addition was to add the blur at the edges of the picture). To me, it shows an Arabian colt frisking in his paddock and showing off his natural presence. That was what I was trying to capture in the first place. He's just a baby and I personally feel that too much "goop" on them looks even more unnatural at this stage in their life.
I believe that as people begin to appreciate this style of presentation and speak up the more we will see it. The cover of Arabian Horse World in May of Farid Albedia is also a great example. He is shown in a relaxed pose and there isn't a glaring reflection off his face due to the "grease" as I term it!
Hope this helps!
Jun 13 2003, 12:20 AM
when I do a photo session I like the horse to be cleaned up and look presentable. I like the most minimal amount of face makup on the horse.
I do like to get a few haulter shots but then i want them to let the horse loose and I take quite a few shots in there natural state. running, playing, what ever. and I always get good shots that way. Don't get me wrong I like the predictable shot but I also like the unexpected. That is what maks photography fun. stallion pictured
El Marees WZ ( Makhsous X Ak Bint Mohara)
Jun 13 2003, 02:43 AM
To those owners who advertise natural horses, you are very much admired. There seems to be a trend of late for many altered horse photos being advertised. The horses are altered in many ways: a little off the throatlatch, lets make the neck longer, how about a dishier head? It is well known that there are a couple of american and a couple of European photographers whose photos cannot be believed to be the real horse. I know why the photogrphers do it, for the money the owners pay them. Why are the owners who direct the photographers to do this so dumb. Don't they know it is easy to spot. Plus, the picture looks great, so you go to see the horse only to find that there really is not such a good dish. The neck is not that long or the topline is bumpy, not flat as the photo shows. Now they make the eyes black and bigger. Dr. Wigger is right--this is deceit. And the photographers and owners get laughed at behind their back.
Some photos have extra boards on their fences to hide things. Some people make backgrounds all sky with a fake dish on the horse, or all green behind the horse with the so called grass putting changes on the horse. How foolish. It ruins your reputation world wide. We are not all blind.
Jun 13 2003, 06:48 AM
Except for stallions that have dropped and photo flash glare in the eye, both will be removed by the publisher if the photographer doesn't...I've never retouched the horse. I have had handlers removed for being near distractingly naked... taken out lead lines, and an annoying phone pole or two. I like to take pictures that are more naturel EXCEPT with conformation shots...they have to be properly stood up and I don't want them messed about where a flaw like an off-set or anything else is hidden. Breeders should know what they are dealing with and whether their breeding will correct the problem. My favorite horses are those in England because they are au naturel...no clip jobs, no grease, oil or anything else that could in any way be called faked.
There is a rumor running around that there is a new gimmick...the horse is absolutely naturel except that there is one person who has taken the skin of the throat latch and pulled it tight and another who rubs the croup so hard that it flattens. The photo is developed, run through a computer and the handler's helpers are erased.
The problem with any of the gimmicking is that once the horse is seen in the flesh the potential customer would have to be disappointed. The greatest compliment I as a breeder/photographer is, "Gee he is gorgeous in the photos but even more gorgeous in the flesh!"
Also there are some horses that are simply impossible to photograph no matter how beautiful, nothing begins to capture the animal's beauty in the flesh.
By the way just received my AHW with Kordelas on the cover and it is a wonderful spread. Loved Judith's cover photo and Trees always does a phenomenal job (best photo of *Rushan ever taken was by Scott at the British Nationals.) Terrific Dick!
Here is Antham with bridle path and face trimmed - of facial hair/whiskers...
Jun 13 2003, 06:50 AM
oops he disappeared...trying again with a photo taken by an amateur client that is quite lovely
Jun 13 2003, 07:27 PM
Beautiful photo of Antham. Really nice. For me, this is as much as I like to see done. I live in the US, and I do not like when a horse actually looks greasy. I mean sheesh people, let's think for a moment. Does that really make them look so much better? NO. It looks gross. (IMO) The amount that Antham had done in the above photo is my taste, and my horses look this way. I don't like the balding of the eyes, or the excessive greasing to enhance. It doesn't enhance. I also HATE pictures of horses with obvious ginger. I feel so sorry for them.
I have had photographers out before. One particular was obcessed with getting halter pics, and posed portraits. Now, I love the pics I got, but I hired the photographer for a halter shot and turned loose pics. Never got all I wanted. Made me mad. Took hours getting the type of pics they wanted and then by the time the horse was obviously done with this stuff, they said turn him loose. Needless to say, he didn't want to comply anymore with the photographer.
I have taken photography classes myself for years. I can take some pretty nice pics now, but I am by far a photographer. Anyone here who would like to take pictures I would suggest you take some photo classes somewhere and learn some really interesting facts that need to be known for the right type of pics. I can sure say it has helped me a lot. It is a learning process, and you will have to get your own technique but it is possible.
Photographing horses in a natural state is just lovely. there are a few photographers out there that seem to enjoy this too. I think Dick picked one great photographer for that. Scott Trees really does capture the pure beauty of the arabian horse, whether it be naturel or posed. I loved the write up of Kordelas and the Reeds. It was very nice.
Sorry I started to ramble!
Jun 14 2003, 06:24 PM
what an amazing picture - everything spot on!
Congratulations for a lovely colt and a lovely shot!
an other amateur photographer
Jun 14 2003, 07:33 PM
I am an amateur photographer to, and you can se some
of my picture her Amateur Photographer Jani Pedersen
Foto: Jani Pedersen
Foto: Jani Pedersen
Jun 14 2003, 11:24 PM
Jani, In terms of compostion the top photo is as good as it gets...but the bottom....what a photo and what a glorious mare(?). WOW. Great job.
Jun 14 2003, 11:39 PM
I agree with Gari and others that the only touch-ups I have done have been the occasional leaning fence poll, flashed out eye, a bug on the face (those flies can really ruin a great shot!) and a stallion that has dropped, etc. Turning a horse into something that it isn't should never be used on a horse that is being marketed. It is deceitful. The best way is for people to see the horse in person, or on an honest video. Pictures should be taken to draw peoples interested, not lie to them! I am a huge fan of the creativity of Scott Trees, Gigi Grasso, Suzanne Sturgill, and others who have created a distinct look to their work. As an amateur photographer, I truly admire what they can do with a camera, and hope to be 1/10th as good one day
Here's a photo of a Natural horse, with only some baby oil, and brushing. I didn't even try to take out her bug bites, as I really don't like to retouch the photos in any way. (she has severe reactions to bugs despite fly sprays etc.) I did darken the photo quite a bit to get the black-background effect, and had to black out two barn lights that showed up in the photo to get the effect, but the horse itself is extremely natural right down to her fuzzy ears! The other photo is just simply one of my favourite photos, that I took at a show. A "wild" Arabian for sure
...actually a incredible trustworthy child's mount, and a pretty one at that!
Jun 15 2003, 12:42 AM
The mare is Kaliya (Al Kidir x Kaythara Halima by Halim Al Kadir)
And yes she is wery beautifull. She is own by Authentic Egyptian
Arabian in Germany.
Foto: Jani Pedersen
Jun 15 2003, 05:30 AM
Wow Jani, Suzanne , Gari and others! Great shots, very crisp and clear. So lets hear what kind of camera's are used, lighting, time of day and how did you capture that fraction of a second?? Of course having those beautiful horses helps
Jun 15 2003, 10:18 AM
Jani-This last of Kaliya absolutely gave me goose bumps that wouldn't quit. Isn't she sensational! You really captured her.
Suzanne-terrific photos and the photo of the child riding the wild Arabian---IS the picture that is worth 1000 words.
Jacquie, great questions.
For my photos I use a Canon with 300 lens(which cost more than the camera as I recall!). The photo of Antham above was taken with a brand new digital for computers. The clarity of the shot the gentleman was taking is making me a convert....
This picture was taken by the Canon and is my favorite of *Rushan.. in the early afternoon but the best time is 2 hours after dawn or 2 hours before dusk, I think. The best place to take them is England!!! Oh and in this shot a human was removed by computer along with a lead rope. The horse is unretouched, obviously. It was one of several nice shots but the most relaxed and naturel looking-he was just about to walk up and strike a pose which was the next shot.
Jun 15 2003, 12:08 PM
I just love this wonderfull stallion, hi is so easy to capturing whit the camera.
Foto: Jani Pedersen
The best time to take picture is when the sun is ther, the light is bettet, but dont take picture
against the son, take when whit the sun is in your back.
My camera is an old one, but wery good.
Its is a Monolta 7000 whit a Tokina 35-200 zoom.
And I only use the cheap film, the are just as goos as the expensive,
I use ASA 200 film for my camera, sometimes a 400 ASA.
I love to take picture of the arabian horse, I have try to take picture of manny breeds but the
arabian, is so easy to capturing whit the camera.
Jun 15 2003, 12:41 PM
Now I know who took that photo of Kubinec. Keep it going, you are a good photographer as this pic sure proves.
Jun 15 2003, 12:55 PM
Well look out Knoll and Vesty, keep up the great work ladies!! Also nice of you to share your little secrets!
Jun 15 2003, 04:03 PM
I think that a natural eye is the most beautiful! Even when taking photos, as long as the area is clean, with maybe a dab of baby oil, to me there is nothing prettier then sweeping eyelashes and a natural look at the soul!
Jun 15 2003, 04:05 PM
Heheheh! This is a foal, so no sweeping eyelashes yet
Jani, what incredible photos! You indeed have an incredible gift! Everyone's photos are just wonderful. I've really enjoyed this subject
Jun 15 2003, 07:40 PM
Beautiful photo of Kubinec and that chestnut mare is to die for!
Jun 15 2003, 08:07 PM
This is one of my favourite photo's.
I love the way this has been taken with the beautiful countryside as the background.
Jun 15 2003, 08:23 PM
your photos are amazing and you are as good as many of the professionals I know.
Keep the fire burning!
Jun 16 2003, 08:13 AM
Who is that-looks vaguely like Ralvon Elijah?
Jani-if you aren't professional you should be...there are only a handful of photographers whose work is as consistent as yours. You are a bit of a phenomenon.
Jun 16 2003, 08:30 AM
He's Ring Of Gold, by Rheingold (think I spelled that right!) out of Shades of Autumn (Zehros x Autumn Velvet)
Jun 16 2003, 06:11 PM
Next to horses, photography is one of my favourite subjects. To have the two combined in one thread is just such a pleasure to read! To see everyone's fantastic photos is just so inspiring!
To answer Jacquie's previous question about equipment, I have a Canon Elan 7 body with a 28-135mm IS (stands for Image Stabilization) lens, plus a 200 mm. As Gari points out the lenses cost WAY more than the camera itself but I firmly believe it is the lens that makes or breaks a picture. The IS lens is super because when I take a picture with it I can handhold the camera during actions shots. Makes tracking moving objects (such as horses) much easier for me. Of course the pro's have much more "technique" than I do at this point and don't need such "cheats". Grin.
For times of day - I prefer the softened light of early morning or late afternoon/early evening. If I'm aiming for dramatic shots - such as silhouettes - than sunset and sunrise. The shot I posted previously of Baalheem was taken around 6 p.m. at night.
This one was taken about 1/2 hour later - around 6:30 p.m of the mare (Khemosabi/Bask grandaughter with polish (El Paso) bloodlines on the bottom) and foal. Again - the mare is just brushed and we used a bit of show sheen on her mane (more to detangle it than anything else).
Jun 16 2003, 07:48 PM
THANKS for all the nice word
And I think my prices is wery fair.
I take EUR 3;- for one picture or EUR 54;- for 20 picture + driving EUR 0.13;- pr km
This littel boys dam is the wery beautifull mare Kaliya
Foto: Jani Pedersen
Jun 16 2003, 08:40 PM
I saw the photos of the Barez colt posted above in the back of the Canadian Arabian News. What a beautiful baby!!! And lovely photos too
Jun 16 2003, 10:23 PM
This is one of my prefered amateur shots.
I don't know what the occassion is called since I'm not religious (especially not in English) but what christians have around age 12, pictures were made to put on the girls celebration card for her family.
Jun 16 2003, 10:27 PM
Could have killed myself for not having this headshot in the middle of the picture (guess that's the difference with a pro and a bloody amateur).
Jun 16 2003, 10:32 PM
Nope, correction ... this has to be my prefered picture 'cause so much effort.
Taken in the pre-digital camera era and I remember having used 4 complete films to get one good picture of this filly in motion.
Jun 17 2003, 01:23 AM
some of the most interesting pictures i get are accidental.
I was out with a cheap digital camera when a stom blew in suddenly and excited the horses.
this is my pinto (part arab mare)
Jun 18 2003, 06:26 PM
I personally like the natural photographs more then the ones with too much grease in a pose.
I recently had my stallion (Amurath Muntahi) photographed by Ilse Klauenberg and she really made him looked beautiful!!! I had a few pictures of him with a show halter and a little bit oil on his muzzle and I liked those very much UNTIL I saw the ones that were made by Ilse, you can see his power and his grace so much better than the ones where he is just standing still.
I will try to uploaded them. And for the ones who think that they are retouched: just the edges the rest is real!!
Jeanine van Oosterwijk
Jun 18 2003, 06:29 PM
Jun 18 2003, 06:32 PM
Jun 18 2003, 07:07 PM
Awesome photos!! Does that ever look so naturel!! The horse looked like he was having a blast too!
Jun 18 2003, 07:44 PM
He was REALLY having a blast, he had so much fun, we spent more than one hour to capture him again.
But every minute was worth it........one my site there are more pictures of this shooting.
Jun 18 2003, 08:38 PM
The one on your website were he's trying to crawl out of the pit is quite funny. Where were the pictures taken?
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