Jack Schatzberg...photographs and talks about horses

Questions and Answers


Hello again Jack

Thank you for responding to my enquiry. It seems that all the Peruvian horse shows up here are in doors.

My equipment consists of 70-200mm f4 zoom, plus a 50, 28, and 35-70mm lense. Cameras are Cannon A1 and AE1. Strobe is a metz 32ct4.

My major problem seems to be getting these horses in gate. I have alot of photos of them in gate but the ears are usually back or one hoof is lifting off the ground or some other silly thing that probably only I really care about. The photos lack punch.

One other problem is keeping track of which to which horse and or rider.

Standing shots are a concern also as I have no idea how a good photo of a standing horse should look like. I guess the problem here would be lighting and composure.

Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated.

PLEASE NOTE any and all spelling errors are the fault of the computer.

Thanks for your trouble

Dwight Boulton


Dear Dwight,

I will try to answer your questions out of order, easiest ones first.

Keeping track of horses for proofs is almost impossible without the help of another person in the ring writing down the numbers as you photograph the horses.

This other person would also help you by getting ears up during the presentation photo and the "victory pass" of the winner. The cost to you of this person would be paid by the sale of now saleable photos.

Standing shots "presentation photos" should be photographed from a 45 degree angle to the horse and presentee. (NOT directly from the side) The horse's feet should be square, the presentee should be smiling while holding the trophy and ribbon and the horse's ears up.

The ability of the photographer to get a photo of a show horse "in gait" is the determining factor in his ability to earn a living. Check my site and the breed magazines so that you understand what the desired position of the legs should be. To achieve that leg position, you must KEY on the FRONT INSIDE HOOF AND FETLOCK ONLY. Practice that without film in the camera and say NOW each time the hoof is in the proper position. To earn a living in this field, you must be able to properly shoot a horse "in gait" more then 95% of the time, so practice, practice and then practice some more. There is nothing that you should do to get ears up during a class, just do not shoot horses without ears up. The owners generally are not interested in those photos.

I am not sure that your cameras and strobe are capable of doing the job that you need to do. Please read the other questions in my site and you will have a greater understanding of the problems that you must deal with.

Please keep in touch and let me know how you are doing.

Subject heading: Taking "sellable" photographs
Posted: Oct 1999
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