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Horse Photography Tips: Take Great Pictures of Your Horse or Pony
Mostly everyone carries a smartphone with a camera now but smartphone cameras do not have the ability to make print-worthy pictures. If you want to take great pictures of your horse or pony, you should invest in a better quality camera and lenses.
Invest in a `point and shoot` camera that has an optical zoom that will reach at least 200mm. For higher quality pictures, invest in a quality camera that has exchangeable lenses. Sony, Nikon, and Canon have several quality cameras to choose from for taking great pictures. You can buy the body of the camera and appropriate lenses to match the type of photography you want to do.
Some horses show up better in photos than other due to their color. Cameras usually have trouble focusing on a dark colored horse and it will result in a dark, feature-less horse or the photo will have an overexposed background. You can prevent this by shooting in `raw` or CR2 file format if the camera has that capability. Shooting `raw` images or in CR2 files will allow you to correct these issues later during editing.
If you are going to be taking pictures in an indoor arena, you will need a camera with a high aperture setting. Aperture is the part of the camera that light enters. If possible, stand in a corner of the arena so that you will have the best opportunities for the natural light to illuminate the horse and rider.
Timing your shots can be very tricky, especially for action shots such as a horse jumping over an obstacle, but it will get easier with practice. For beginners, most cameras come with a `sports mode` that allows for continuous shooting. You can also buy a memory card that will record images quickly and perform faster processing. It may take you awhile to figure out the exact timing that you need but practice does make perfect!
If you want to produce outstanding images of horses, you should learn about photo editing. Photoshop is a popular editing program but it may be too expensive for the hobbyist. If cost is a problem, you should consider free editing software called GIMP. GIMP can help with simple editing and until you figure out if you want to pursue the investment of Photoshop, GIMP is a great program for beginner photo editors.
It is important that you do not distract or disturb the horse and rider while they are riding whether at home or at a competition. If you are at a competition, do not get too close to the rail and you should quietly and slowly step back when the horse approaches. Remember to always walk and never run. If you choose to shoot from a crouched position, you should slowly stand well before the horse reaches you. You should also never use flash photography as it can spook the horse and may blind the rider.