How to take good photographs of your horse
Providing a clear picture of your horse is vital for the Police, auction houses and ports to be able to trace and recognise it in the event of theft. A poor image makes identification, recovery and return to the owner difficult. In the current age of digital photography with cameras on phones, it is very easy to capture a good quality image.
NECD require four images of your horse, from the front, two sides and a rear view shot. This ensures that your horse is presented in the best way for identification.
We have provided some helpful do's and don'ts on how to get the best results and the best picture.
- Stand to the side of your horse. Look through your viewfinder and ensure that your horse fills 60% of the rectangular view finder and is positioned in the centre. The head should be sideways on for side photos
- For front pictures aim to show the front part of your horseâ€™s head and any stars or whorls, so get the whole head in the picture from the front.
- Use a simple uncluttered background to your picture with a contrasting colour to your horse
- Use a head collar in preference to a bridle where possible and get the person holding the lead rope to stand apart from the horse
- Get your horse to stand with weight evenly distributed across all four feet
- Get a clear view of your horse without any fence posts or stable bars in the way
- Take your picture at the eye level height of the horse
- Try and take your pictures on a sunny day
- Before you take the picture, make sure you have pressed your shutter button down half way enabling your camera or camera phone to focus on your subject
- Miss off the edges of head, feet or tail
- Take a picture of your horse inside its stable or stable block. The light usually wonâ€™t be good enough
- When taking the front pictures donâ€™t take them pointing upwards, downwards or on an angle as the resulting image will present an elongated or shortened head
- Provide photos of half the horse or just the head instead of side shots
- Take a picture with the sun in front of you. (This turns your horse into a silhouette and makes it hard to see any colour or marking detail)
- Take a picture at an upwards angle towards your horse or downwards from a height (this changes the perspective of size and makes legs look shorter or longer)
- Take a picture of your horse at an angle to the camera (this distorts the image)
- Take a picture of a horse resting a hind leg
- Take a picture of your horse from a distance
- Take a picture of a horse with any object that obstructs the view of the horse
Please also provide images of your other valuable items including an image of each item with its unique NECD number, or other identifying mark clearly visible.
Top horse photography tips from Caroline Finch, globally published equestrian photographer
- Donâ€™t forget your bucket of feed or something to rattle to encourage your horse to look alert. As we all know they look far more gorgeous and intelligent with their ears pointing forwards and their necks arched!!
- Good light conditions increase your chances of getting a good image meaning your camera doesn't have to work quite so hard
- The correct way to photograph a horse is with your eyes (camera) on the same level as the horses eyes. This applies to photographing all animals. Pictures taken shooting upwards or downwards result in a distorted animal representation