Friday, 7 September 2018

Having Fun with Outdoor Photography

So I promised I would start Blogging on a more regular basis and what better way to start off than a talk about outdoor photography.

We've had such dry weather this summer it has been almost perfect for model horse photography! If we ignore the often very bright sunshine.

So here is a little trip through some outdoor pictures and some tips on how you can get good lighting, good footing and generally have fun with your model horses outdoors!


OK so I know that I was initially talking about the Summer weather but I just love taking pictures in the snow so much! Snow makes for lovely light and a really great footing. The other good thing is you can use surfaces you wouldn't normally use such as tables and walls because the snow creates a realistic footing.

OK so here we have an example snow picture. Here you can see one of the biggest problems with snow photography and that is where the snow is too deep. I do quite like this shot because it looks like the horse is having fun playing in the snow but the long grass and deep snow makes it look out of scale and covers a large part of the horse - a big no no with model horse photography.

This is a much nicer example of an outdoor photograph. Here none of the hooves or legs are hidden by the snow as it has been crushed down where the horse is. You can see the grass is also much further away which means the horse looks in scale. The light is also really nice, there is a little reflection on the quarters - this is something you need to watch out for with slightly shiny models and snow pictures where there can often be a lot of light reflection.

Outdoor Backdrops

You don't just have to take outdoor shots using the natural environment. You can create mini scenes outside as well and use backdrops.

Here is a nice example of a really simple set up. A scenic mat, a backdrop and some lichen. I like the light in this shot, the foal is really clear and shown off. Unfortunately there is quite a lot of reflection on the backdrop though and also some shadowing which takes away from the realism of the photograph.

Here is an example of how outdoor pictures can sometimes cause you a few problems with lighting! Here we can see heavy shadowing from some form of plant that makes the picture quite atmospheric but doesn't lead to a great photoshow picture, particularly where there is shadowing on the background.

This is another example of a really simple set up. There is a painted backdrop and footing. This could be better but is a nice example of how you don't need anything fancy to get a decent shot!

General Outdoor Pics

Outdoor photography can often mean great light and a natural backdrop without much effort! But there are a few things to look out for, like long grass and...WIND! Gosh I hate wind so much...

Here we can see some lovely lighting but deep grass covering up the horse's hooves a bit too much. That said the light shows off his beautiful red colouration so well.

I love this picture. The background isn't massively realistic but the light and the colours just work so well. The light is perfectly hitting the horse and showing off his gorgeous shading. The grass at the front could have done with a bit of a trim.

Very deep grass does not a good picture make. Take a look at this picture of Ruffian in really deep grass and the picture below of Feoh on a area of ground which is more earth. Which do you prefer? The one below is clearly much nicer.

This shot of Feoh has lovely light and a nice base. It's just such a pity I didn't take the time to trim the grass and plants in the foreground as they are blurring her legs! If only those weren't there this would be a nice example of a good outdoor shot.

Long grass isn't the only issue with outdoor pictures. The background is really important. It's important to make sure the things in the background are realistic and in scale. Clearly our old house was not...

 Have you taken some cool outdoor shots over the Summer? Why not share them on the Chestnut Ridge Facebook page? I would love to see them :D