Jack Schatzberg...photographs and talks about horses

Questions and Answers


Still enjoy your site.

I see in your Q&A section you shoot jumping outside the ring. Any particular reason as most of the shows I've worked the judge and ring steward are still in the ring. And have you had any problems with riders/owners upset with such a big flash from outside the ring?

Have you looked at using digital yet or at least scanning the negs in and proofing to a large screen and printing out inkjet "proofs" when needed? The lag time in the new generation autofocus Nikon F5's and Canon EOS is virtually nil now. So I'm not sure if that could be considered a factor now or not. (if one was to go 100% digital I don't believe a digital back on a Blad or Rollie can flash sync fast enough yet.)

I asked you about a year ago if you had any seminars planned. At the time you thought you would not be doing so as you thought your Q&A on the site would be enough. I'm not so sure. There are technical/business questions I would like to address that I feel (from past experience) only some personal hands on experience works better. So should you ever change your mind please let me know.


Ed Conner
Conner Photography


Dear Ed,

Thanks for your letter. I am REALLY very happy that you asked these questions since digital photography is at the forefront of thinking photographers, most of whom are literally scared to death of digital since it would be a new learning experience.

As to whether photographing Hunters and Jumpers in or out of the ring is best, it depends on the quality of the exhibitors...Usually novice exhibitors without much ring experience are scared witless that you are going to mess up their go. (of course you aren't, but they need someone to blame their bad horsemanship on) So when you are shooting a class or a show that consists mostly of (bad) amateurs or (bad) junior exhibitors it is best to stay out of the ring. Otherwise shooting from inside the ring will give the exhibitor the best photos. Of course, from inside, try to stay away from direct head-on shots, since these might very well startle the horses.

Ed, the use of the auto-focus feature on cameras is not desirable or at all useful for horseshow photography. The photographer must be able to photograph the horse at the proper time of his gait at an angle shows the rider and horse in good balance. This plus the manner of showing proofs and business management will make the successful entrepreneur.

I have been helping a photographer get started using digital and she is doing very well. She photographed about fifteen shows last year, and has done well financially. She does not show proofs on a screen, but shows 16 proofs per 8x10 page using a Kodak dye-sub printer. She shoots with the new Kodak digital camera and Norman 300-C strobe set at 100 watt seconds. She has a half dozen type-3 171 MB PCMCIA hard drives, switching them between classes. This allow the showing of proofs within minutes after each class at a show. She shoots primarily Miniature, Walking and Racking Horse shows, since that is the area that she is most comfortable in at this time.

The completed ordered photos are computer driven and done on a Fuji Pictrograph 3000, which produces an absolutely perfect photographic quality print, with the additional capability of computer manipulation of the image if needed or desired. The storage of all the images at the show are transferred to CD's for storage, which is much easier then the maintenance of negatives..

I have finished my horse shows for the rest of the year, at least until March of 2000, so you are free to contact me and I will endeavor to help answer any questions in any depth you desire.

Subject heading: Digital Photography
Posted: Nov 1999
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