By: Carol J. Walker
Publisher: Painted Hills Publishing
Publication Date: September 2010
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: November 3, 2010
There’s no question that Horse Photography by Carol Walker is an absolutely stunning book. The cover shot of a gorgeous horse at liberty in the snow is enough to make a horse person pick up this book. And the eye-catching shots spread throughout the book certainly make it worth the purchase price. But the question is, can this book teach me, a horse-loving, horse-owning but photographically challenged person take better photos of my horses?
Horse Photography is a slick, 100 page book jam packed with dozens upon dozens of great photos. Horses at work, at play, and quietly resting are featured within its pages. Of course, photos alone don’t make a successful book on how to take better pictures and there’s plenty of useful advice from the author spread throughout. However, I would strongly advise that you first take some time to carefully review and enjoy the many action shots. That way, you won’t get distracted as you concentrate on the words of wisdom the author has laid down in this book once you start reading.
The author has covered a wide-range to topics to help the average horseperson take better photos. She has even included explanations for those unfamiliar with horses, who may know nothing about these majestic animals but still wish to take photos of various equines. Topics include working with horses (how do you get those ears up?), equipment, and light; plus how to be creative, and photographing wild horses. In the back of the book is a listing of resources on both photography and wild horses.
The author is very clear in her explanations, never talking down to the reader. While I admit my eyes tend to glaze over when reading technical information on camera settings, using the right lens, etc., the author kept it simple and understandable. I believe I have a much better understanding of selecting the right length lens, how to use the light to best advantage and how to adjust shutter speed to avoid blurry action shots.
Did I learn to take better pictures of my horses? Absolutely! I learned why my photos are at times distorted, with heads that look like giraffe necks, what time of day is best for various shots, what to look for in backgrounds (it depends in large part on the color of the horse) and most importantly, for me, how to avoid that incredibly annoying lag time when using a digital camera, that split second between when you snap the photo and when the camera actually takes the shot. I found it particularly helpful that the author included some photos that “don’t work” so the reader can see exactly what she is talking about when she says, “don’t do this.”
Quill says: Every horse-owner who wants photos of his/her horse (and isn’t that all of us?) should get a copy of this book. It will change the way you take pictures.