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A Horsey Weekend

A Girl on Her Horse
A couple weekends ago I made the sojourn up North to hang out at the parents' Ranch n Spa. Not only to relax...I had a few items on the agenda: I had to enter my photography at the Crow Wing County Fair; a family friend wanted me to take pictures of her daughter and her horse; and my mother and family friends were riding in a horse show in Aitkin.

Haley & BlazeNeedless to say it was a busy – and very fun-filled – few days. It was also very photography-focused. I always bring my DSLR when I go up there, but I don't think it's ever gotten quite the use it did on that trip: I ended up shooting over 1,500 images. Normally I don't get those types of numbers unless I'm shooting a wedding or on vacation.

It all started with the cloudy, slightly-foggy morning photo shoot of a girl and her horse (a 30-year-old horse, I might add). Since animals aren't always super-cooperative – though old, this horse is still somewhat naughty and wasn't willing to stand still – and I needed to catch the "poses" quickly, I cheated and threw the camera into the sports mode setting. *Sigh* Yes, for a portrait-type photo shoot I did this. But, it was a slightly cloudy day (and with my 24-105 f/4, that wasn't ideal), the horse was moving around and I wanted to be able to continuous-fire.

National Show Horse Grazing
Turns out it was a good setting for that particular situation. No time to manually set up f-stop and aperture for each image. Partly the reason I took so many shots, since of course I was trigger-happy. Got some good ones, and our friend is happy so that's all that matters.

Joy of Perfection & Hucklebey CharmerThe day after that I went ahead and kept right on shooting – for the majority of the day, anyway – in my cheater sports setting since I was at a horse show. Again, lots of shots snapped in order to get the good ones (in this case, it's so much about framing, lighting, etc. as it is about how the horse looks). I ended up shooting more video of the classes than images, and none of the shots were great, in my opinion. But, the weather was (mostly) good, ribbons were won and fun was had.

Grass with Horses in Background
After getting back from the show it was time to head into Brainerd to enter my photography at the fairgrounds. Evidently the judges liked me, my photos did well again this year :)

When I got home from that it was only natural to head out to our own horse pasture and continue shooting. Sometimes a horse of your own standing in a field evokes more of an emotional response than anything else...again, while not exceptional shots they're my family's horses and I just like the shots.

Three Horses Lomo Effect
That weekend kick-started my picture-taking gene. Since then I've been pretty focused with not only shooting more but also wading back into the plethora of stock I have and editing older images. I don't think I could re-create that weekend if I tried...but I'm glad I got the chance to get to blend two of my great loves – horses and photography.

National Show Horses in Pasture

Thanks to the horses for posing for the camera :)