Jack Schatzberg...photographs and talks about horses

Questions and Answers


Hi Jack,

Nice site...Great JPEGS. I shoot video during the week for the state and portraiture(Bronica) on the weekends(after ten years I quit weddings this summer...to much work). I grew up around rodeos and cutting in Kern county, CA, and would love to take up horse event photography. Do you only shoot medium format?

Your Questions of the month told people what 35mm to buy. I was considering selling my medium format to buy a new EOS-1 system, but you said pros use medium format for the flash sync at any speed. If I want this to replace my weddings as a FUN weekend business, do I stay with the Bronica? Do they do those great cutting action shots and reined cowhorse slide stops with 35mm or medium, and are they in the arena or in the first row of the stands? And are they getting those great exposures with 400asa print film and a Norman 200b? I was looking at the Lumadyne 800. When I see 'your' indoor event photos, with flash, are you shooting medium format? I use a Vivitar 285/Quantum Turbo on a Stroboframe with Kodak PMC400 for my people photography. Like a prom, do you sell the contestants packages first? I haven't figured out the business end, but I need to do some small ranch events first to build up a good portfolio. Thanks again for the inspirasion. I LOVE being around livestock and the western life style(makes me miss my teen years...68-72...and riding all the time), so my first love(shooting) might be a way to combine the two. Sorry Jack if I rambled. I'm just reminded, "Do What You Love and You'll Never Work a Day In Your Life." Thanks for listening,

Douglas Wood Images, Sac. CA


Dear Doug,

I use medium format at all times as do the other photographers that I know. Many of our shows are indoors and we need flash to get a dense enough negative for good print reproduction. Some use Rollie's others use the other twin lens reflex cameras. I use a Hasselblad ELM, but my son uses the standard Hasselblad. (He doesn't mind winding after each exposure). The100MM lens is our "normal" lens. It gives us the proper exposure distance for the Norman strobe at 100 watt seconds. We both use 6x4.5 format, which gives us 16 exposures on a 120 roll. Other photographers use the "normal" 75MM lens to good advantage.

Never having used a Bronica, I have no idea how it would hold up under the terriffic wear and tear that horse photography imposes on cameras. I also believe that you would need 2 or 3 cameras lenses and strobes as spares when camera failures occur. In speaking to other photographers, I find that all of us usually have a camera or two in a repair shop at any given time.

I shoot in the arena with the contestant during cutting and reining, and saddle horse classes, but out of the arena (in the stands) during working cowhorse and hunter/jumper events.

I use Fuji 400 film (professional Low contrast) and a Norman 200C strobe, but some of the other photographers swear by the Lumadyne units.

We do not pre-sell photos, but do the shows on a "spec" basis. Each of us is hired by the Show Manager or Committee to be the "official photographer" of the horse show. This gives us the ability to be in the ring, take and sell photos to the exhibitors (after showing /or/ mailing proofs) of their performance.

If I can help by answering any other questions, please let me know.

Subject heading: What equipment do I use?
Posted: Jul 1998
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