Despite the warning about never working with animals or children I have done both on more than one occasion. Here are some examples of my encounters with animals (more can be seen on the Portraits page of my website). Although I have shot pet portraits in the studio I find that the experience of going into a strange environment can be unsettling for the animal, and it is a more relaxing experience all round to take photos in the animal’s familiar surroundings. [Read more…]
Not content with taking on the dog world, I’ve now moved on to equine portraits: these photos of Echo were taken in Holbrook back in December, on a horribly cold and wet day (in between two of the bouts of snow and ice we experienced that month). I went fully equipped with flash, lighting stand, tripod, etc. only to realise that horses really don’t like anything out of the ordinary, and are quite prepared to let you know about it! The lighting conditions in the school were terrible: a little daylight, assisted by halogen floodlights, which produced a very odd colour balance. Without flash I had to set my camera to ISO 3200 in order to get a workable shutter speed of 1/125 for most shots. Kathy really wanted some action shots of Echo trotting round the school, but given the poor light and cluttered background it proved difficult to get any really striking shots. I will visit the yard again when the weather is better, and try some action photos out in the field. For now I’m pleased with the portraits, but will work on my panning skills!
I did a fair bit of post-production in Lightroom – noise reduction to minimise the grain produced by such a high ISO, and a lot of burning to darken the background and draw the eye into the frame.