Equine Photography

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by bekaphoto, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. bekaphoto

    bekaphoto TPF Noob!

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    Does anybody have any tips on how to stop blur of legs and hoofs on equine photos. The arena we were shooting at was dark inside with floresent lighting. We were photographing a Freisian Stallion for a friend. I moved my ISO to 1600 and was using my flash, I changed the WB to the floresent setting. I am using a Nikon D200, Nikkor 28-105 F3.5-4.5D lens, and a Quantaray 9000 flash. We still had blur after changing these settings. Do I need to change the shutter speed and drop the ISO or is that going to affect the brightness of the image. Any help or tips would be great. Thanks

    This is the setting on this photo.

    Focal Length: 32mm
    Exposure Mode: Programmed Auto
    Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern
    1/40 sec - F/3.8
    Exposure Comp.: 0 EV
    Sensitivity: ISO 1600
    Optimize Image: Normal
    White Balance: Fluorescen
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    To freeze motion, you need a faster shutter speed.

    Nikkor 28-105 F3.5-4.5D , this is your first problem. Your lens has a smaller maximum aperture, which is hurting your ability to get fast shutter speeds. By increasing your ISO, you are doing the right thing (don't drop it)...but you are still limited by the lens and the light you are working with.

    Flash can help, but it's effectiveness is limited by the distance to the subject and you may still get blur from the amount of ambient light.

    To really solve your problem, as best you can, you should probably get a 'faster' lens. That would be a lens with a larger maximum aperture. I'd suggest the 50mm F1.8 because it's inexpensive.

    I don't see a photo, b.t.w.
     
  3. aMac

    aMac TPF Noob!

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    What kind of pictures are we talking here? They're galloping/jumping? How far away are you? Even with flash, there's going to be blur at 1/40 shutter speed if they're running, so you'll want to speed that up. Is this also your camera's built-in flash?

    Set your camera to shutter priority mode (Tv) and increase the speed to something like 1/250 and that should really help to freeze more movement. That's the fastest shutter speed you can have using the built in flash without using a separate flash unit with the ability to sync faster. Of course you'll also need to make sure you're close enough that the flash is going to reach the subject.

    On a related note, if you're lighting something with a flash as the primary light source, you want to use the flash white balance setting, not the ambient lighting conditions. The flash will make things look blue when WB is set to fluorescent. Alternatively, shoot raw and change the white balance later.
     
  4. bekaphoto

    bekaphoto TPF Noob!

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    No it not the built in flash it is along the line of a nikon sb-600 we have now upgraded to a nikon sb-800. This is the link to these photos. They are unedited, give me some feed back on these. By the way the site is still being worked on. http://www.freespaces.com/rebeccasphoto/equine.html
     
  5. Jon, The Elder

    Jon, The Elder TPF Noob!

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    Beka.......I agree with you, the Frisian is a beautiful animal. Here are a few from a show last month.

    http://www.pbase.com/jpferguson/image/82768493

    Now the "not-so-good" news.
    Low level lighting in arena's is a shooters nightmare. It takes fast lenses, great timing and a really good understanding of your gear.

    Unless you are allowed in the arena, distance to subject is a potential problem. The florescent lighting conflicts with your on-camera gear to a greater or lesser degree.

    It takes lots of practice.
    Shutter speed, for a walking horse, needs to be in the area of at least 1/500 second. A trot calls 1/750 minimum and at Canter, try for 1/1250.
    Also, even though the H&R are moving in one main axis, there is movement in the other 2 axis, which can affect your AF.

    Just take it one problem at a time and you will get good enough to call yourself a Horse Photographer.
     
  6. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sorry but you aren't likely to get a fast enough lens. What you need is a stronger flash or Monolight. The strobe effect will stop the action and if you have enough power then you should be able to go f5.6 at a minimum.

    The danger is in spooking the horse. If you want to stick with a flash, look at a big Metz or a Sunpak 622.
     
  7. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As moke said you need a faster lens. Even if you push your ISO the extremely slow lens you hae is going to restrict your abilities to shoot what you want. I think unless you did this already it was probably a mistake ti=o invest in a D20 0 and put slow glass on it. Right now Digital bodies are more short term investments than good quality lenses. You would be closer to doing what you want to do with a......
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/274780-USA/Nikon_2139_70_200mm_f_2_8D_VR_G_AFS.html
     
  8. Jon, The Elder

    Jon, The Elder TPF Noob!

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    Hope I didn't scare her off. I got the impression that she thought it would be easier to do.
     
  9. bekaphoto

    bekaphoto TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the help everyone.
     
  10. pandinus

    pandinus TPF Noob!

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    I could recomend shooting the horse as it moves diagonal to you, and not as it moves paralel as most people do. This would make the horses movement less compared to you, and it would make it easier for you to consentrate on reducing the blur of the moving legs.

    Best of luck. =)
     
  11. Jamie McCoy Photography

    Jamie McCoy Photography TPF Noob!

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    Practice, Practice, Practice, and more Practice.

    Horse shows are not easy.

    If you have some in your pasture...start shooting.

    If there's a local horse show, shoot from Ring Side, until you get it down pat.
     
  12. fido dog

    fido dog TPF Noob!

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    [​IMG]

    ISO 400
    105mm AF
    f5.6
    1/250
    30 ft. away
    And a BIG ass flash.......:mrgreen:
    You can use arena lights to lessen the shadows.

    Like the others have said.......timing is everything!

    This is what I've been training to do for the last three summers/falls.
    I'm actually in my hotel at a show right now.......

    Good Luck Man!
     

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