Whilst many people may think that Photography is a very simple and general subject, it actually divides into a wide range of different styles and subjects. One style, which possibly isn’t as widely known as others, is Equestrian Photography. Taking images of horses can be quite complicated due to the unique subject, so in this blog, we take a look at what equipment is recommended to achieve high-quality Equestrian Photography.
Since horses spend their times mostly split between stables and fields, you will be required to use battery powered flash lighting, as it may not always be possible to have access to mains power when required. As you will find yourself on location using mains powered lighting, it is always recommended using flash lighting that offers a large amount of flashes per single charge, whilst also carrying a spare battery to make sure you are always prepared. Due to the size of the subject, with most horses being rather large animals, it is recommended to use a flash lighting unit that offers a powerful light output, to make sure that the subject is properly covered and help to reduce unwanted shadows that may occur.
CITI600 PRO: The CITI600 PRO is our 600Ws battery flash unit, which has a guide number of 87m at ISO100, which is more than enough to suit the needs of most equestrian photographers. The CITI600 PRO features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, which can produce approximately 370 full powered flashes per charge which is plenty for most sessions. Extra batteries are also available if you require a back-up or if you are on an extended photoshoot. The CITI600 PRO supports High-Speed Sync (HSS), which enables you to shoot at shutter speeds higher than your camera’s sync-speed. This allows you to use your shutter speed to bring down the exposure of the sky and using your flash to illuminate the horse which if done correctly can produce stunning a dynamic result. Without High-Speed sync, the sky will typically either become blown out, or the horse will end up as a silhouette against the perfectly exposed sky. The CITI600 PRO utilises Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) technology, to produce super-fast flash durations, which helps eliminate motion-blur which will result in sharper images whilst maintaining colour accuracy throughout its power range. The CITI600 PRO also has a built-in temperature-controlled cooling fan, to dissipate any excess heat which could otherwise case the flash to overheat and cause permanent damage to itself.
The use of modifiers on the lighting is always helpful, as it can help to add effects and slight changes, to help improve the overall quality of the shoot. As the subject of this photography is large, you will always need to use modifiers that are large in size to make sure that subject is properly and evenly covered. Being on location for these types of shoots, using a modifier that is quick and easy to set-up is ideal, as you do not want to have to waste any time preparing your shoot whilst dealing with an animal.
DeepPara90 Softbox: The DeepPara90 Softbox is our 90cm Parabolic Softbox. The Parabolic design of this Softbox is more suited for this style of photography as the design focuses the lighting more efficiently, allowing it to be thrown across a great distance, making it ideal for catching wide-angle shots such as the horse in motion. But it also is capable of being used closer to the subject, for still shots, giving it a wide range of options and usability over the course of your shoot. The Softbox also features an easy-open mechanism, to help save valuable time and effort during your shoot, and to help assembly when on the most difficult of terrains. It features two layers of removable diffusion, to allow you to soften the light being produced when required, allowing for more control over your shoot to better suit each individual scenario.
Just like the lighting and the modifier, your stand will need to be easily assembled on location, to help reduce any unwanted loss of time. But as the light stand will be hold a light and modifiers, and come be being used on a difficult terrain, it is recommended to use a strong and sturdy light stand to make sure that your equipment stays in place and no accidents or damage occurs. In addition, you could also attach a Sandbag to your stands, in order to have extra protection to your equipment during the shoot.
300cm Retractable Light Stand: Our 300cm Retractable Light Stand has a unique design feature which when lifted to be moved, the legs automatically collapse back in and fold back out when placed back onto the ground, perfect for moving the equipment on different terrains and locations with ease. Not only does it feature a retractable leg design, it also has a unique air cushioned dampening system, preventing any sudden drops that may possibly cause unwanted damage to your equipment. With the ability to collapse the stand down to a minimum height of 79cm, this allows you to easily store and transport this piece of equipment between different locations and shoots. With the ability to hold a maximum weight capacity of approximately 5kg, this light stand should be able to hold a light and modifier with ease.
3m C-Stand: If you wish to use something a bit more sturdy, due to difficult conditions or terrains, our 3m C-Stand would be a good option. The C-Stands are made from a Stainless-Steel metal construction to create a tough and durable base for your lighting equipment, and are ideal for locations that may have poor weather conditions. With a maximum load capacity of approximately 10KG, this light stand will be more than capable of hold a lighting unit and any modifier that you deem suitable for your shoot. The range in height between 300cm and 145cm means that it can be adjusted to better suit the requirements of any particular shot, making sure that your lighting is always hitting your subject from the perfect angle.
Whilst they may not be required, sometimes extra pieces of equipment can be useful to add that final bit of flair to your shoot and help finish an overall shot.
ST-IV Trigger: The PRO ST-IV Trigger is a 2.4GHz radio transmitter that allows you to control your flashes from your camera rather than directly from the unit itself. The PiXAPRO range of flash lighting feature a built-in 2.4GHz receiver, which is compatible with the ST-IV trigger, meaning that you are able to wirelessly control and trigger all of the current PiXAPRO flashes, from single trigger. The ST-IV trigger features a large backlit Dot-Matrix LCD display with dedicate buttons, helping to make this trigger incredibly user friendly and easy to understand. With 32 channels available, this allows you to control multiple different sets of lights separately and with 16 available groups, this means you can individually adjust each light unit from all the lights being used in your shoot. The ST-IV trigger supports a wide range of different photography functions including TTL, high-speed sync, rear-curtain sync and stroboscopic multi-flash.
Whilst this may not be a common field for photography, Equestrian Photography is a growing subject, so making sure that you have the ideal equipment is vital in order to capture the perfect shot. Hopefully this blog has helped to inform you of what is required for this style of photography, and given some ideas of the type of equipment needed.