Professional photographer Martin Buschmann traveled to southwestern England to photograph some of Europe’s last wild horses. Buschmann spent two weeks in Exmoor National Park and captured magical moments. Here, he reveals essential tips for great equine photography.
Tip 1: Scout the Horses‘ Habitat
“I was lucky enough to travel with wildlife videographer Marc Lubetzki. He was already in Exmoor for a few weeks before me and knew the exact locations the wild horses frequented,” the photographer says.
You should be steady and quiet around horses – sudden movements and loud noises will drive these very sensitive animals away.
Tip 2: The Best Equipment for Great Horse Photos
“I like to use a monopod. This way, I am flexible and can change positions quickly and greatly reduce camera shake, especially in the telephoto range,” Martin Buschmann says. Additionally, it is worthwhile to invest in a good camera backpack that enables you to easily move in the wild. After all, you may need to trail the animals for a few miles.
Tip 3: Note the Background When Photographing Animals
Horse photography is a major challenge. Because the animals themselves have such a complex form, you should avoid complicated compositions or distracting background elements. Let the horse’s flowing movements guide the picture’s composition.
Tip 4: Find the Right Perspective
The professional photographer advises taking as many pictures as possible and then narrowing down the selection later. That way, you can capture the same subject from many different perspectives. “Portrait orientation, landscape orientation, varied focal lengths, motion blur, different backgrounds – there are no limits to your imagination when it comes to finding the right approach.”
Tip 5: Use the Right Camera to Put Horses in the Spotlight
“High contrast is very fascinating when it comes to wildlife and landscape photography. I use Sony alpha 7 cameras that reach their full potential in the high ISO range. The alpha 7S II is outstanding for filming in 4K.” Buschmann recommends a camera with many interchangeable lenses to cover all your bases – from wide angle to telephoto.
Tip 6: The Right Camera Settings for Great Equine Photography
“When horses gallop, there is a split-second to capture them in the ‘floating hoof’ position. You will only capture this image with a very high burst rate,” the expert advises. You should take as many pictures in succession as possible. Newer cameras can take more than 10 photographs per second. “A fast autofocus is a necessity, as you have to deal with unpredictable changes in direction.”
Tip 7: Choose the Right Time of Day for Fascinating Horse Photography
When taking pictures outdoors, you are reliant on natural light. The best images are created in the early morning light or while the sun sets. “The most beautiful moment in my trip occurred when the herd’s dominant stallion posed on a hill in front of the setting sun. The atmosphere that evening was the absolute highlight for me.”
Tip 8: Perfect Equine Photography Requires Patience
Thanks to their natural instinct to flee, horses are always in motion. You have to adjust to the animals’ rhythm and spend a lot of time with them. There’s no room for franticness or impatience. Buschmann created breathtaking pictures. The professional photographer was selected by Sony to travel with the alphaddicted suitcase. The prestigious suitcase contains over €20,000 worth of equipment and travels all around the world to be used by various photographers.
Martin Buschmann specializes in Travel, Wildlife, & Landscape Photography and offers workshops and photo-adventures for all sorts of themes. Buschmann’s clients include international ad agencies, editors, and travel agencies. His works have featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions. For more information, please visit www.my-reisefotografie.de
Andrea Bruchwitz / Benjamin Arntz