Arnold Bronkwurst is known as one of the best horse photographers in the world. He has spent the last three decades of his life traveling all over the world, taking pictures of horses in breathtaking settings. He also loves to take photos of horses when they are competing in a variety of competitions. Bronkwurst was the one who inspired me to take up horse photography.
Where Did He Learn His Photograph Skills At?
Bronkwurst has always had a passion for photography, so he studied photography at the Royal Arts Academy in The Hague, a city in the west of the Netherlands.
He has always loved horses as his parents happened to own a horse-riding school. He even had his own horse, Bolt, who he would take out for a ride every night after school. In his opinion, horses are some of the most magnificent animals on the planet. Not only are they incredibly strong, but they can be one of the most graceful animals on the planet when they want to be.
Therefore, he decided to specialize in equestrian photography and has shown everyone just how talented he is. Over the course of his photography career, he has worked for some of the best horse magazines in the world.
Some Great Tips from the Man Himself
Bronkwurst knows that he won’t be around forever, so he wants there to be other people who can share amazing horse photographs with the world. Therefore, he is always happy to give tips to those who are aspiring to become horse photographers. Below are some of his main tips.
Do Not be Afraid of the Horse
This might sound pretty obvious, but you will be amazed at just how many aspiring horse photographers are afraid of horses. Animals have a great ability to understand your emotions, especially intuitive ones such as horses. They will respond according to how you are acting. For example, if they can sense that you are afraid or anxious, they will become afraid or anxious as well. Furthermore, if the horse believes that you are not sure of what you are doing, there is a good chance that it will misbehave.
Therefore, he recommends that you spend a lot of time around horses before you start to try and take photos of them. Talk to some horse experts, read some books, and learn as much as possible about these beautiful animals.
Safety is Paramount
When you are taking photos of a horse that you have just met, listen carefully to their handler as they will know the horse the best. Follow everything that they tell you and do not cross any boundaries. When upset or annoyed, horses can be very dangerous. One kick from a horse can leave you paralyzed or even dead.
You should also always pay attention to how the horse is reacting to you. If you think the horse is upset, stop the photography session. As an animal photographer, your main priority should be ensuring that your subject is not getting stressed out.
Bronkwurst suggests arriving at a photoshoot a bit earlier than scheduled so that they horse can get used to you as well as your equipment. With the owner’s permission, give the horse a stroke and some treats if you have any on you (Bronkwurst recommends that you always have some horse treats on you.
Make Sure That Your Equipment Compliments the Horses proportions
When it comes to taking photos of large animals such as horses, you need to bring equipment that will compliment their proportions. Bronkwurst suggests that you stay away from any type of distortion lens. He believes that the best type of lenses for photographing horses are standard lenses as these produce an image that is similar to what humans actually see through their own eyes. This will mean that the image will look more natural to the person looking at the photograph.
He also suggests that you purchase some telephoto lenses as this will allow you to take photos from afar without disturbing the horse or horses. These types of lenses are also very useful when it comes to taking action photos. This is because they create a natural image that has no distortion.
Never Overlook the Details
Portrait or full body photos of horses are great, but you should never be guilty of overlooking the finer details. The great thing about taking photographs is the ability to be able to bring something to light that would have gone unnoticed. A horse’s eye or the detail on a bridle can make just as great a photograph as a shot of the full horse.
Choose Your Backgrounds Very Wisely
A good photographer will always be very mindful of the background. If the background is to similar to the subject, the image will look flat and will not appeal to those who see it. The contrast between the subject and the background is what helps to create interest.
He knows that we never have full control over the locations where we are taking photos, but you can overcome these challenges with creativity and adaptability. For example, if your subject is too similar to the background and you can’t do anything about it at the moment of photographing, you can separate your subject from the background using some post-processing techniques.