Sunday, June 22, 2008

This week's photography assignment

This is conformation week. I am glad because I already know a lot of the things they are teaching, which allows me to feel a little more confident --something I definitely needed after last week.

Now knowing and doing it are two different things. But we will get there. I am a huge fan of the lowest number aperture setting I can get--sometimes that is f5.6 and sometimes that is f4.

The major trick to doing conformation shots is to have two helpers--a handler and a ear-getter-uper. And of course, knowing what the breed you are shooting uses for standard poses.

Target was my model since he was up front and handy. He had this wierd walrus looking mustache on his upper lip that had to be trimmed off, along with his other long whiskers---he had never been trimmed before. He did pretty well, oddly better with the trimming actually happening rather than just putting the trimmer near him to get him used to it.

I realized as soon as we put on the halter that it was way too big and needed to have some holes poked in it, but since I was shooting through the rain showers, I went ahead with the shoot and will re-do tomorrow after Barry fixes my halter. This is one of the downfalls to having such pretty-headed horses-halters never fit. I definitely failed this part of the assignment-I would be a bad client. Photoshop can take the dropping throat latch out but I cannot change the angle of the cheekpiece or placement of the buckle. I will lose major points on that.

Then there is this: getting GOOD help is virtually impossible. Today I had Barry and Madison. Barry was better than usual about not complaining the whole time even though he was irritated as he usually is if I ask him to help me. He did it though.

When I asked him to get back where we started and not with the fence in the background, he argued with me about the ground, etc, so I just kept taking pics til my battery died. I showed him tonight how we had some correct shots that would have been great had there not been a fence post in his belly, sticking out of his back, poking him in the neck, etc. It takes too long and is too hard to photoshop all that out. Hopefully he got the point.

Anyway, this time I used aperture priority setting, like I was advised. The top shot was at f4.0, 1/4000 shutter speed, 800 ISO (it was overcast), and focal length of 108mm. I had no idea my shutter would even go that fast! I think I likely did not change the aperture setting at all. He also looks tiny here, and he is not a tiny horse at all-- I just did not fill the frame all the way. I took a bunch of shots in exactly this position, but his tail was flicking despite the judicious use of flyspray and that botched up most of the shots--that left me with this one, and it does not have perfect foot placement.

The headshot was at f.5.6, 1/2500 shutter speed, 800 ISO, and 300 mm.

The profile shot was also at f4, 1/3200, 800 ISO, and 119 mm.

All of those pics were the assigned poses for the class--I did some more research and found out WHY the legs have to be exactly like that for a good shot---it was really interesting. It is also a lot easier to remember which leg goes where when you remember why it goes there. Seeing examples of wrong ones helped too---with the commentary from so many pros, it sunk in a whole lot faster than just trying to force myself to remember the positioning.

This goes to show you that I did not follow the instructions of the assignment a little bit--I was supposed to be at the end of the focal length availability.
This was not one of the assigned photos---but I like it, so I am putting it on here anyway. Here the specs are f5.6, 1/3200,800 ISO and 238mm.
Same for this one-- I just like it. I know there are shadow issues and it makes his neck look non-existent, so not good for anything but looking at--I still like it. F5.6/1/2000, 238mm and ISO 800


Anonymous said...

You got a "A" from me for your class assignment.

However--what do I know----not much more than about horses. Hehehe

Horse Student and now Photo Student

The things one learns on your site.

Holly said...

where did you get the info for why the legs should be where they are?

theCloth said...

I think you deserve a "A" also. Good color saturation. Nice small depth-of-field to really make the heads pop out.

Photo of the Whenever I feel like changing it

Photo of the Whenever I feel like changing it


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