Fine Art Photography

theraven

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
677
Reaction score
102
Location
Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, UK
Website
www.ravenphotography.co.uk
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Is what I am aiming for with these Equestrian shots, something a little bit different. I am really liking the style that I am getting into here and there is a serious niche in the market for Equine photography like this in and around the area that I'm in.

Do you think it is fine art? Is there anything you guys think I could to to improve?

Lighting is a single Flash off camera, widening the aperture until it throws the background out a little.

All hints, tips and criticism happily received!


Zip by Raven Photography by Jenna Goodwin, on Flickr
 

ShooterJ

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jun 14, 2013
Messages
971
Reaction score
344
Location
Oklahoma
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Very nice.. I like the way you use light in these equine shots. Beautiful horse and captured nicely.
 
OP
theraven

theraven

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
677
Reaction score
102
Location
Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, UK
Website
www.ravenphotography.co.uk
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Gary I completely agree, but the client on this one wanted the leather head collar and the rug as he was prepared for a show. I will be working more in the field and the school loose.
 

amolitor

TPF Noob!
Joined
May 18, 2012
Messages
6,320
Reaction score
2,131
Location
Virginia
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I don't see what the problem is with the halter (that's not a bridle, is it?). I think it's a nice accessory, gives a little visual interest.

My reaction to this is that the lens is too wide or too close, so the proportions are unflattering - horses have big noses, but not THAT big. My second reaction is that it's a bit dim. I think the exposure is actually OK, there's some highlights in there that are in the right spot, but somehow it feels dark. If that's what you're going for, great! There is a long tradition of portraiture in which the sitter is surrounded by translucent gloom, which is precisely what you have here. If you want a lighter feel, you might need a softbox or similar, to give you a "bigger" light.

The red rim around the horse's eye also strikes me as a bit unflattering, but it's possible that's just what the horse looks like.

The one thing I will specifically suggest if you like this look is to place some lighter objects into that gloomy background. Small spots of lighter material, ideally that have similar shapes or hues to things we see in the lit areas. Perhaps a light object that's roughly round, slightly but not obviously reminiscent of the eye we're seeing, or something that looks a little bit like one of the brass fittings on the halter. If you look at classical portraiture, you'll find things in the darkness, which echo the shapes or tones or colors of the things in the light. There are pretty good reasons for doing that.
 
OP
theraven

theraven

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
677
Reaction score
102
Location
Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, UK
Website
www.ravenphotography.co.uk
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I don't see what the problem is with the halter (that's not a bridle, is it?). I think it's a nice accessory, gives a little visual interest.

My reaction to this is that the lens is too wide or too close, so the proportions are unflattering - horses have big noses, but not THAT big. My second reaction is that it's a bit dim. I think the exposure is actually OK, there's some highlights in there that are in the right spot, but somehow it feels dark. If that's what you're going for, great! There is a long tradition of portraiture in which the sitter is surrounded by translucent gloom, which is precisely what you have here. If you want a lighter feel, you might need a softbox or similar, to give you a "bigger" light.

The red rim around the horse's eye also strikes me as a bit unflattering, but it's possible that's just what the horse looks like.

The one thing I will specifically suggest if you like this look is to place some lighter objects into that gloomy background. Small spots of lighter material, ideally that have similar shapes or hues to things we see in the lit areas. Perhaps a light object that's roughly round, slightly but not obviously reminiscent of the eye we're seeing, or something that looks a little bit like one of the brass fittings on the halter. If you look at classical portraiture, you'll find things in the darkness, which echo the shapes or tones or colors of the things in the light. There are pretty good reasons for doing that.

Yes I see what you mean, the background is a difficult thing with horses, because unless you take them off the yard that they are situated on, there is limited props/backgrounds to work with!

The lens was on the wider end, will try more towards the 35-50mm lenses next time.

In regards to the darker side, yes that is what I'm going for, equine portraits are usually very well lit outside and kind of light and fluffy!
 

amolitor

TPF Noob!
Joined
May 18, 2012
Messages
6,320
Reaction score
2,131
Location
Virginia
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Rembrandt is the obvious fellow to cite, here. images.google.com, and just type in Rembrandt.

He liked hats, he liked a single pool of lightness with the face in it and then, often positioned diagonally opposite across the frame, a less dominant light area (the sitter's hands, a book, something of that sort). He liked to put dark hats on people to make the pool of light that is their face all the more bright and dramatic.

In your case, you could simply tack things to the wall behind, and let them be thrown into ambiguity by the shallow depth of field. A bit of harness, a saddle in pale leather, something like that.
 
Last edited:

tirediron

Watch the Birdy!
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
45,748
Reaction score
14,801
Location
Victoria, BC
Website
www.johnsphotography.ca
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I think you're very close here Jenna; we can start picking on the niggly details now. The background doesn't quite work here; even non-distracting, or light to eliminate it altogether. You need to diffuse your light more; the specular hightlights on the leather are still just a tad strong, and this would also give a slightly larger catchlight which I think would be a little more attractive. Lastly, watch the fall-off; the ears are almost in the dark, and especially with horses, ears are very important.
 
OP
theraven

theraven

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
677
Reaction score
102
Location
Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, UK
Website
www.ravenphotography.co.uk
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Cheers guys, so better background, softer light, something in the background, ears and muzzle in the light with maybe a reflector.

Again the watermark is neither here nor there as it is not on the original image, this is only for when I put the shots on the web.
 

TheEditor

TPF Noob!
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
United States
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Agreed about the better background, but I love your focus on the eye of the horse and ears / the veins around it. It's an intriguing picture. Makes you look twice at it. :)
 

o hey tyler

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Aug 3, 2009
Messages
9,783
Reaction score
2,726
Location
Maine
Website
www.tylerdrummphoto.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Needs to be shot at a longer focal length.


As John said, the light source needs to be larger. Utilizing light to separate your subject from your background is quite possible, even in this scenario. It's all about how you use the light. The light source should also be higher next time and aimed down IMO.

To me, this is not fine art. The first thing that jumped out at me was the small catchlights on the eyes. I had almost thought you used a pop up flash. Keep working on it though.
 

sleist

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
3,831
Reaction score
2,272
Location
Boston
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
You dont want the bridle in the shot take a look at Tim Flach and you will see fine art horse shots

Good call. His shots are really amazing. Something to aspire to on many levels.

To the OP - getting a bit of disembodied head effect with this.
 

Most reactions

New Topics

Top