Hi. I show saddlebreds and have a picture taken by you. I was
wondering how you know exactly what moment to take a moving
photograph at. Is it just practice? Is it when the back foot
I really want to learn to photograph my horse, please
Still enjoy your site.
To photograph the Saddlebred Horse, we must fully understand the
footfalls of the TROT, since that is the gait we photograph.
The TROT is a two beat gait with the fore and hind diagonally
opposing feet striking the ground in unison.
We want to show the balance and range of motion of his forelegs
and the drive of his hocks.
We must be able to CUE our camera at a SINGLE, NON-VARYING
point during a single round of footfalls.
To demonstrate that correct SINGLE, NON-VARYING point, we will
discuss the placement of each leg for purposes of cueing.
1- OUTSIDE FORE- We want to show this leg at its highest point,
but we can't cue on it since we don't know the exact instant it
reaches its peak.
2- OUTSIDE HIND- The position of this leg is generally hidden from
view, so we can't cue on it.
3- INSIDE HIND- We want to show this leg at its highest forward
position to show the horse's driving power, but again we cannot
know the exact instant that peak is reached.
4- INSIDE FORE- At the instant this leg strikes the ground, (if the
horse is in gait) the horse is in the ideal position to show maximum
height and reach of his motion. This leg position is your cueing
You must actuate the camera shutter at this exact instant. To
practice this, use an empty camera and concentrate on the fetlock
of the inside foreleg. Each time the hoof strikes the ground, say
"NOW" and release the shutter. You can do this even without a
camera. Watch any horse at the trot, saying "NOW' each time the
horse's forefoot strikes the ground. The last image you see through
the lens as the camera mirror rises is what will appear on the film.
From here on it is practice, practice, practice.
However, you cannot use the "Autofocus" option on your camera.
You must be in the "Manual" mode. There is too much of a time
delay in the autofocus action on virtually all of the 35 mm cameras.
The above discussion subject has been "timing", but as you know,
there are other considerations in horse photography. Since you
are in manual mode, focus is a consideration, as is the camera
position and angle distance of photographer to horse. I have
discussed these and other questions in my column, and suggest
you read those.
Let me know how this helps.