Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/12/03

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Subject: Re: [Leica] it's not PAW... Horse shooting sense. ;-)
From: Ted Grant <>
Date: Mon, 03 Dec 2001 20:52:49 -0800
References: <>

Hi Doug,
Given one of my favourite sport's to cover at the Olympics has always been
equestrian it's not an easy shoot anytime, whether at that level or with
your daughter. So unless you've done a fair amount of it be prepared for a
number of blown images. And even with experience, one can go through a ton
of film to get just the right image.

Like you, we had a teen age daughter who went horse crazy and there wasn't
any holding her until we bought a horse along with the attendant expenses!

It was all well worth it, as I'd shoot her with the SLMOT & SL2mot as she
cleared jumps as one in unison with the horse. It was like having your own
equestrian member to practice on in preparation for the next Olympics. :-)

Your shot is very well done given it's not an easy shoot, actually
photographing horses in action is a hell of a lot harder than most
photographers imagine. It isn't just stopping the action and having
everything sharp, it's capturing the moment when the "horse is showing it's
best side!"

And for those of you with no horse image savvy, trust me the horse counts
more than the rider! :-)

The best way to find out whether you are doing it right or not, is show your
pictures to "horse people!" And unless you've experience with the "horse
set"  be prepared to find out very quickly that, "you don't know much about
horses do you!" Sometimes in a tone of voice that is withering! :-)

However! Get them right, why they can't praise you enough about your
brilliance as a photographer. ;-)

The first thing I do is look for the angle of the light to where they are
going to ride, then select my photo position for the best light to accenting
the rider and animal. Then I pretty well stay there letting them ride
through the best shoot / light zone.

If you do that first, rather than shooting from any old position, then the
light becomes an accent rather than creating black shadows if it's a sunny
day. The right light location will enhance the shape of the horse which is
important to horse lovers. It also allows time to watch horse and rider
movements learning just the best moment for exposure.

I hope I'm not "beating a dead horse" :-) by telling you something you've
been doing for years. If so, please accept my apologizes. However, maybe
it'll be of use for some of the others.

Best of luck with it as you'll have your daughter loving you a thousand fold
more when you show her like a champion rider on a good looking horse! :-)

Ted Grant Photography Limited

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In reply to: Message from Doug Herr <> (Re: [Leica] it's not PAW...)