Jack Schatzberg...photographs and talks about horses

Questions and Answers


I have been taking small pet portraits for three years now and am beginning to branch off to horses. I used my flash last week for the first time (with horses) at a barn and was disappointed with the results. Many of my pictures ended up having large white spots in the eyes. Not like you would normally see with catch lights. Would you have any idea why this would have happened? I was using Portra 400 (for the first time). I usually use Fuji Reala but needed the faster speed. I was in shutter priority. I have a Nikon F5 with the SB28 speed light.

Christina Emery


Dear Christina,

The difference in the reflection of light that you are seeing between people and horses is not in any way due to your equipment. You are doing nothing wrong....Horses eyes are rounder, larger, and they protrude from the head rather the being inset as are human eyes.

You WILL find that the reflection that you are seeing is a constant result of using artificial light.

You need to correct prints by the use of "SPOTONE" basic gray to mask the white reflection of your strobe before you send them to your customer. However, leave a "catch light"in the upper, forward area of the eye in order to maintain a realistic appearance of the horse's eye.

Please call on me to answer any other questions

Subject heading: Eyes and Flashes
Posted: Jun 2001
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