|Painted horses at the Western States Horse Expo... so patient while children paint them!|
This weekend, that's what I did. I was at the Western States Horse Expo all weekend, watching and photographing the horses (and riders); making a load of mistakes, learning some lessons both about horses and my photography, meeting lots of wonderful horses, very nice people, finding-out about some very cool programs (more later about this), and--hopefully--coming away with some good images too. As with a weekend-long music festival, I have about a million or so (slight, but not huge, exaggeration) images to sort through, edit, and publish, so be aware that the photo gallery will be updated regularly. You might want to bookmark it! <--- click here!
Here are a few things I learned this weekend at the Horse Expo. I had fun and yes, I learned a lot! I'm already looking forwards to next year... and to maybe setting up some equine portrait sessions soon!.
1) MOST IMPORTANT! Horses move much, much faster, and are much, much bigger, and jump much higher than the average rock star. Therefore, if you frame your horse photo to allow for the movement of your average rock star, even at a very high speed setting and when you're expecting the singer to jump, you're going to end up with horse images without the rider's head, the horse's hooves, or the horse's flowing tail. While headless riders are fun in spooky movies, they don't really make for good horse expo images. I discarded lots of photos on day one! Lesson learned: frame the shot large. You can crop stuff out later, you can't crop a head back in if it wasn't in the frame in the first place.
|Arabian horse and rider in traditional costume|
|Friesian and rider|
4) While up-the-nose shots are something to be avoided in a music situation, they can be real fun when the performer is equine. And especially if it's Lazarus, because that gives me yet-another chance to share his story.
|Lazarus, Percheron, Hope For Horses|
|Friesian on the move|
|Andalusian with ribbons|
|Andalusian and rider performing at the Western States Horse Expo|
|Richard Winters clinic at the Western States Horse Expo|
10) I learned that I want to photograph more horses. Gypsy horses, Freisians, Morgan horses, all kinds of horses. Seriously.
|Gypsy Horse (Gypsy Vanner)|
|Azul, wild mustang, trained through the Sacramento County Sherriffs program|
13) I still love crowd shots. Horse crowds.
|California Cowgirls at the Horse Expo|