• Kathy Troxler

More Holiday Horse Pics with Mike and Kathy

First, a very important disclaimer! All these photos are "Kathy Cell phone" pictures and (for the most part) "not adjusted" except for cropping some of them.

I guarantee you that the very first thing Mike will be inclined to do (when he reviews this for me) is to say (in a nice yet pained way,) "geeze, Kath, you could have at least adjusted the brightness (or saturation, or contrast....he knows better than to say "the histogram"...my eyes glaze over). And in this case, I'm not actually resisting being a better educated photographer! However, one of the points I'm making with these posts is what it takes to take great horse pictures! So for all you pro photographers out there, yes, I know that I could have tweaked the brightness in photoshop prior to posting these. But one thing that I have learned to do.... before sharing or uploading (to facebook or wix) or emailing digital photos taken by my Samsung Galaxy S5...I MUST MAKE THEM SMALLER!! And, yes the phone can crop and convert to smaller! But (because Mikey has managed to drill some training into me!) I prefer to do that with Photoshop...so Mike has taught me a lot! I have learned that a lot of people don't realize that they might have the cell phone camera shooting pictures that are 55 inches wide at 240 dpi!

So, whenever possible, the first thing I do is to cable up my phone to the computer and transfer everything off the phone...especially if I have shot any video! That part's done! And...I downsized the pics for this blog post!

Back to Sunday's shoot! We were very excited to get Deanna's message asking if she could hire Mike to take holiday pictures of her and Gaston! I've been working with Gaston and Deanna so I knew he had the basics to get great pictures....he has GREAT MANNERS and is a doll to deal with!

Bright and early (well, early by "Kathy" standard time...actual time 10:00 am ish) we're loading up to head out. Tip for the day! The Stuff! Loaded into our trusty Juke ...camera (Canon 1DMKIIn 70-200mmf2.8, 2 Strobe heads, 1 550 flash head, 3 pocket wizard remote triggers, stands, extra batteries, umbrella (in case of rain), 1 60 inch 5 in 1 reflector, lots of coats and scarves, Horse Wardrobe selection along with extra ribbons and "stuff"! As you can see it was a moderately bright and overcast day...actually, easy to deal with as long as it doesn't start raining. Yes, on Sunday we had the possibility of either rain or snow...if we had to have one, we wanted snow...NOT RAIN!

Deanna and Mike checking out the "snow field". At all times, we're thinking about not only how the shot will look, but making it a safe and comfortable experience for the horse and handler. Gaston is barefoot so we don't have to worry about snow balling up in his feet. And there's just enough snow to be pretty...still, it was pretty challenging to walk through.

Since, we wanted "pretty snow" vs "dirty snow", Mike is telling Deanna how far to go "down field" before coming back up to where he wants to take the shot.

This shows a really good picture of Mike's special adaptation of his work mittens into "photographer" mitten...he cut the thumb out! Also in this shot you can see a reflector umbrella..the back side. The front is shiny silver with a Canon ex 550 flash with a remote trigger. This means that when Mike actuates the shutter on his camera, it triggers that great big flash to fire wirelessly in sync with the camera. The advantage to this set up is you get nice fill light to the faces and you get catch light in the eyes. If Mike had just used a flash mounted on his camera he would have the "red eye" and "green eye" that you have to retouch in photoshop. It's all about the relationship of the angle of the flash to the subject. This angle produces NO red eye! In my next post, I'll show the actual photos that Mike got!

And finally...a short video for your viewing enjoyment and education! What happens when the "unit photographer" fails in her duties as "equine expressionst"?