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Thread: C&C on my newest friend

  1. #1

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    C&C on my newest friend

    I'd like some C&C on these please. Firstly which one do you like best and why, and secondly are they just snaps of a horse, to eyes other than my own. What do you think of when you look at this guy?
    #1
    C&C on my newest friend

    #2
    C&C on my newest friend

    All comments appreciated
    Thanks
    Wendy
    Last edited by ScoutR; 10th August 2010 at 06:07 PM. Reason: correction

  2. #2
    Jim B.'s Avatar
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    Re: C&C on my newest friend

    Hi Wendy,
    I really like #1.DoF and the lighting are very pleasing.Powerful looking animal.
    #2 I get drawn to the straight front legs,looks a little odd to me.

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    Re: C&C on my newest friend

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    I'd like some C&C on these please. Firstly which one do you like best and why, and secondly are they just snaps of a horse, to eyes other than my own. What do you think of when you look at this guy?
    #1
    C&C on my newest friend

    #2
    C&C on my newest friend

    All comments appreciated
    Thanks
    Wendy

    Hi Wendy - being a softie for Horses - I think both are lovely - I like the angle of his head and how his face is shown more on #1 and the sunlight bends in more.
    The story the image tells me - is this is a peaceful scene, he is relaxed & friendly enjoying some time out in the sun - there is something about greys - they look like are always honest and would always give the rider their best

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    Re: C&C on my newest friend

    I prefer the first as there is more definition to his body and his eyes are open Beautiful. Percheron or Percheron cross? I'd only change two things. First, I'd break the rule about leaving space for the animal to move into and centre him more. Secondly, I'd see if I could decrease the amount of green space on top, too. Is there another angle you could try to break up the green a bit wth sky or fencing.

    You'll have great time taking photos of that handsome fellow. (Although, with that hind leg being where it is, the fellow could well be a girl

    Myra

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: C&C on my newest friend

    I think the first one is better. In the 2nd he/she looks miserable (it's how we perceive the head hanging down).

    I agree with Myra's comments re the set-up and composition. Also, these are both very much profiles. To that extent they look a bit 'technical'. It's as if it's one person with a sound knowledge of horse is communicating to other people with a similar knowledge of horses. For those of us to whom horses represent nasty things that bite or kick if you get too close, a better picture migth come from more of an angled view.

  6. #6

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    Re: C&C on my newest friend

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
    Hi Wendy,
    I really like #1.DoF and the lighting are very pleasing.Powerful looking animal.
    #2 I get drawn to the straight front legs,looks a little odd to me.
    Thanks Jim, you've noticed 2 things that I was trying to convey. The power of the animal and in the second one you pointed out a reason that I kind of like it better. Although the strait front legs look odd, they help to convey what I was trying to get across, which is that this guy is tired after a long day of very hard work.
    I'd appreciate any ideas as to how I might better convey the hard days work aspect of any shots I might take in the future.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    From Myra: I prefer the first as there is more definition to his body and his eyes are open Beautiful. Percheron or Percheron cross? I'd only change two things. First, I'd break the rule about leaving space for the animal to move into and centre him more. Secondly, I'd see if I could decrease the amount of green space on top, too. Is there another angle you could try to break up the green a bit wth sky or fencing.

    You'll have great time taking photos of that handsome fellow. (Although, with that hind leg being where it is, the fellow could well be a girl
    Thanks Myra: As a fellow horse lover I appreciate your comments. I think you are right that he (yes it's a he) has some Percheron in him. I'm a bit overwhelmed by the green too. I was shooting from a high bank on the side of the road, but I do want to try and get some better angles when I go back. He lives on one of my favourite country roads for photography so I know I'll see him again. (Actually I was back this morning in the fog - stay tuned).
    I struggled with the crop on this one. I didn't have enough room in front to actually make it look like he was going somewhere, but automatically didn't want to centre him. I'll give it a try.

    My initial reaction to the second shot was "Oh Man - What a day, I'm ready to drop" and that is the shot that I would really like to get with these guys (there are 2 teams at the farm, the greys and a team of Bays) Do you have any ideas on how I can convey that Hard Working aspect without actually shooting the horse at work?

    From Kay: Hi Wendy - being a softie for Horses - I think both are lovely - I like the angle of his head and how his face is shown more on #1 and the sunlight bends in more.
    The story the image tells me - is this is a peaceful scene, he is relaxed & friendly enjoying some time out in the sun - there is something about greys - they look like are always honest and would always give the rider their best
    Thanks Kay, you hit the nail on the head with your comment about honest and giving their best. It's hard to tell because of the angle of the shot, but this is a big (probably 17 hand) work horse. I have to get off that bank on the road so I can convey the size better. No, matter though, I think you saw the hard working non complaining aspect and I appreciate that.
    Do you have any thoughts on how I can get across that "Hard Day at the Office" look that I am trying for?

    I think the first one is better. In the 2nd he/she looks miserable (it's how we perceive the head hanging down).

    I agree with Myra's comments re the set-up and composition. Also, these are both very much profiles. To that extent they look a bit 'technical'. It's as if it's one person with a sound knowledge of horse is communicating to other people with a similar knowledge of horses. For those of us to whom horses represent nasty things that bite or kick if you get too close, a better picture migth come from more of an angled view.
    Thanks Donald: Based on your first comment "He/she looks miserable" Then the second shot is the best. If you have read my rambling above, you now know what I'm trying to achieve. Do you have any ideas how I can emphasize that miserable look, but when people look at it, they see a tired hard working animal rather than a miserable looking and perhaps a bit homely looking horse. I want to do this without actually shooting the horse at work. Those are for another series.

    Well, if you've read all the above, thanks for bearing with me. I can't get too excited about reshooting round bales (I tried, but it was boring the second time) I could follow this guy around all day though, and then go back and do it again the next day. He and his teammates are in a very photogenic location, and if I can get permission to invade the farm I will have a chance at many more angles and backgrounds.

    All comments and suggestions are welcome.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: C&C on my newest friend

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    I'd like some C&C on these please. Firstly which one do you like best and why, and secondly are they just snaps of a horse, to eyes other than my own. What do you think of when you look at this guy?
    OK, you asked - Here goes;

    Things I prefer in #1:
    Animal posture; although it is still not what I'd call ideal, shooting more frames might have given more choice
    In particular: the tail, ears, eyes, neck + head angles and legs
    Apparent narrower DoF on grass in foreground and background - except I think (read 'know') you cheated and did it in PP!
    Slightly bigger horse to frame size ratio (than #2)

    Things I prefer in #2:
    More detail in shaded grass (better exposed on horse too)
    Less deadspace in front of horse

    Things I'd prefer (fullstop):
    Less contrasty PP
    Real DoF (at 150mm try f4 or wider, if possible), or better PP (graduated onset and ever increasing blur)
    Donald has a point about the 'side view' look
    Jim's right about the straight fore leg
    I agree with Kay and Myra too on posture
    I think you cropped to get the sun/shadow line on the top third, but cropping more off top would put subject on a third, which might be better

    Things I like:
    I think the shutter speed was about right (1/100s), there's just a hint of motion blur on legs, but not too much

    Gawd, that's analysed them to death

    EDIT: not quite it seems: I didn't pick up on the hard worked 'end of day' concept, although the sun angle gives that away, but I would ask why, without any evidence of harness, etc. in shot, I would want to look at (and enjoy?) a picture of a knackered horse

    Hope that's helpful,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 11th August 2010 at 12:19 AM.

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    Re: C&C on my newest friend

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    OK, you asked - Here goes;

    Things I prefer in #1:
    Animal posture; although it is still not what I'd call ideal, shooting more frames might have given more choice
    In particular: the tail, ears, eyes, neck + head angles and legs
    Apparent narrower DoF on grass in foreground and background - except I think (read 'know') you cheated and did it in PP!
    Slightly bigger horse to frame size ratio (than #2)
    Hi Dave: We must have been typing in this thread at the same time. I put my reply to the others up and then saw your post.
    LOL you caught me on the DOF thing. Kind of creative of me though don't you think?

    When you say slightly bigger horse to frame size ratio do you mean less green and centerd. I was worried that I did not include enough context, but just the opposite from what I'm hearing.

    As for the posture, it is what I wanted, but I need to somehow get it into a composition that gives it meaning. Any suggestions. This fellow looked so tired. I want you to look at it and see a tired hard working animal, not an unflattering photo of a horse with bad posture.

    All of your other points have been noted, copied and pasted and cross referenced to the shots in question, and I really appreciate when you take the time to do this for me. (and others too, I learn a lot when I read your comments on everyone's shots.)

    Thanks again, much appreciated as always
    Wendy

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    Re: C&C on my newest friend

    Hi wendy, two very important things to consider for next time.....................

    1, lighting direction. The light in your shots is from behind and left. It is much better to have the light coming from behind you and slightly over one shoulder. A cross light facing the animal will give better results.

    2, Eye contact is very important. Think of taking a portrait when the subject is looking away from the camera. It doesn't look too good most of the time ( there are exceptions )

  10. #10
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: C&C on my newest friend

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    I'd like some C&C on these please. Firstly which one do you like best and why, and secondly are they just snaps of a horse, to eyes other than my own. What do you think of when you look at this guy?
    #1
    C&C on my newest friend

    #2
    C&C on my newest friend

    All comments appreciated
    Thanks
    Wendy
    Hi Wendy,

    This is my method for shooting horses.

    I do a lot of horse photography and one thing I have learned over the years is that horses do not look good from side on. They look lumpy and bumpy and if they do not have good confirmation at the back end their bums can look tapered, etc...

    I find shooting horses and on angle of say 35 – 45 degrees, face-on of course, shows them off best. You still get to see the animal’s confirmation but the worst bits are hidden plus you get to see the nice face. With close up portrait shots use the same shooting angle otherwise their long face looks flat and uninteresting.

    The other thing is to set your shutter to continuous and get 3 or 4 shots so one will have the legs in the right place. Shutter speeds for trotting and cantering should a minimum of 1000/sec.

    C&C on my newest friend

  11. #11

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    Re: C&C on my newest friend

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    Hi wendy, two very important things to consider for next time.....................

    1, lighting direction. The light in your shots is from behind and left. It is much better to have the light coming from behind you and slightly over one shoulder. A cross light facing the animal will give better results.

    2, Eye contact is very important. Think of taking a portrait when the subject is looking away from the camera. It doesn't look too good most of the time ( there are exceptions )
    Thanks Steve, The light was crazy and I was having trouble getting the horses to stay out of the shadows. Seeing as this guy was white though, I didn't think it was too bad. I will try to get permission to shoot on the farm, so that I have more options.

    Wendy

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    Re: C&C on my newest friend

    Thanks Peter, Is that Willy in the shot above? Dressage is beautiful to watch. I have 4 sets of tapes from the last Olympics that I must watch again soon. Thanks for the tips on the angles, and continuous mode would certainly help.

    Wendy

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: C&C on my newest friend

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Thanks Peter, Is that Willy in the shot above? Dressage is beautiful to watch. I have 4 sets of tapes from the last Olympics that I must watch again soon. Thanks for the tips on the angles, and continuous mode would certainly help.

    Wendy
    Hi Wendy,

    No this is Steph's current eventing horse called Nugget who will be retired as Willy comes on. Nugget is an Australian Stockhorse by breeding while Willy is a Warmblood, Arab, Thoroughbred cross (bit like Macky really – a bitsa) but has great movement for dressage.

    I did post some images of Willy in the Peats & People thread so I assume you saw him there.

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    Re: C&C on my newest friend

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post
    Hi Wendy,

    No this is Steph's current eventing horse called Nugget who will be retired as Willy comes on. Nugget is an Australian Stockhorse by breeding while Willy is a Warmblood, Arab, Thoroughbred cross (bit like Macky really a bitsa) but has great movement for dressage.

    I did post some images of Willy in the Peats & People thread so I assume you saw him there.
    Yes, that's where I saw Willy. Mmmmmm, Arab cross, that explains those eyes. He's a smart looking horse.

    Wendy

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    Same place different horse

    This one is from this morning. It was very foggy. I like this, I crawled down the bank to get a better angle. I'm not sure if the border is complementary. C&C welcome.

    C&C on my newest friend

    Wendy

  16. #16
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Same place different horse

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    This one is from this morning. It was very foggy. I like this, I crawled down the bank to get a better angle. I'm not sure if the border is complementary. C&C welcome.

    C&C on my newest friend

    Wendy
    Hi Wendy,

    I like this shot. At this angle the legs are not as much of an issue. I would like to see a little more of the horse (i.e. if you moved left a little) but I like the framing and given the day I think B&W works well here.

    I find horses are very hard to get right but that angle I speak of works pretty well. The other time is when they are working on a circle. If you can get them on the turn they pull their bellies in and tighten up the confirmation.

    I do believe you need to take a burst of at least 3 shots to get one right. Having said that Steph’s horse Nugget has shorter choppy paces and I find I just cannot get his legs right. Every now and then I fluke it. Willy has a longer stride and I can always get a good shot of him within 3 frames.

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: C&C on my newest friend

    This was one of my better canter shots of Steph and Nugget.

    C&C on my newest friend

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Same place different horse

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post
    I do believe you need to take a burst of at least 3 shots to get one right. Having said that Steph’s horse Nugget has shorter choppy paces and I find I just cannot get his legs right. Every now and then I fluke it. Willy has a longer stride and I can always get a good shot of him within 3 frames.
    Oh good, that confirms my experience
    I obviously don't shoot horses often enough though, it looks like this is (almost) my most recent (in 2008 ) I chose a non jumping shot for comparison.

    C&C on my newest friend

    Making excuses; the camera was a Fuji Finepix 6MP and PP by Picasa (and I knew a lot less then).

    Cheers,

  19. #19
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Same place different horse

    This one is from this morning. It was very foggy. I like this, I crawled down the bank to get a better angle. I'm not sure if the border is complementary. C&C welcome.
    Now, I think that's a photograph and definitely not a snap. There's a context, a story. A carefully worked out composition that places the elements (things) in the picture in a way that they balance and therefore give a harmony to the whole scene. It is clear that the horse is the focus (it is well placed in the frame), but the photograph is just not of a horse, but of a scene.
    Last edited by Donald; 11th August 2010 at 08:14 AM.

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    Re: Same place different horse





    Thanks Donald

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