An interview mit Equivision Photography
Tanja had only recently taken photos of us and our horses. We liked the pictures so much that I really wanted to ask her some questions about her career and about horse photography in particular. You can follow the interview with her here.
Hello Tanja, can you tell us briefly how you came to photography?
Hello, I'd love to. I came to photography very early, but I didn't buy my first SLR until I was 20. I just started and tried out autodidactically, it was a lot of fun and I kept on trying. At the end of my 20s I had the opportunity to go to New York and take an eight-week intensive course in photography at the New York Film Academy. There I was taught the fine tuning.
Why horse photography, what is your connection to horses and riding?
I have been riding since my childhood and always had and still have my own horses. So the connection between one passion, photography, and the other one, riding, was very obvious.
One should always remember that horses are animals that have a mind of their own. Of course you always want to show the horses in a good light, so it is important to get them on your side and make sure you get a lot of expression out of them. With a rider-horse pair it is also important that not only the rider or the horse alone makes a good picture, but that it works together.
What does the perfect horse photo look like for you?
For me personally, the perfect horse photo is rather artistic. Everything has to fit together and the horse has to be in harmony with the background. The most important thing is the light, it emphasizes certain things or puts them in the background.
So you are looking for artistic expression rather than capturing top sporting performances?
Not necessarily, this is always different and depends of course on the horse or the horse-rider couple. For example, if you have a super moving horse, it can be wonderful to simply capture a top sporting performance.
Do you have any tips for hobby photographers? What should you pay special attention to if you want to put horses in a good light?
If you want to take pictures of the horses in motion, the shutter speed is very important to avoid blurring the movement and making the picture sharp. And, as I just mentioned, the horses must be alert, with pointed ears and open eyes, so that the necessary expression is there.
How do you capture the right phase in the movement, e.g. at a trot or gallop?
I actually find that difficult myself. You can always pay attention to how the horse moves and try to catch the right phase. But I personally like to take consecutive shots. I have a camera that can take a lot of pictures in a row, even if the object is moving relatively fast. I then take the moving picture with the serial shutter release, because it simply works best for me. From this series I can then choose the picture with the most beautiful phase. On the other hand, there are also moments when I take pictures of horses during riding lessons or training courses, for example, when I know that the horse is just coming in at a really good angle, trotting or galloping, and I can take a great picture.
You also photograph horses at halt, how do you proceed here?
Especially when photographing horses in nature, you sometimes have to wait quite a long time until something happens and the moment comes when you can pull the trigger. Or you have to bring helpers or some requisites that animate the horse, so that the expression of the horse can be captured faster.
When you take pictures outside, when is the best time of day or what is the best light?
That is difficult to say. Personally, I find the twilight or even the sunrise in the morning or the light directly after sunrise very beautiful. I don't like to take pictures in direct, strong sunlight. Especially when it is cloudy during the day and the sky is a bit darker, I find it beautiful. The picture of the foal Belmiro was taken in the same way, I actually like these kind of pictures best.
What else do you photograph besides horses?
Originally I started with travel photography, this is something I have always loved to do and still do.
In addition, during my training at the New York Film Academy I went through many genres and had to do cross-over series through all genres. But I learned to love the artistic expression in photography. Since then, I like to use different techniques, especially for the genres of abstract and conceptual photography.
What equipment do you use?
I have a Canon EOS 1DX and various lenses with me. For the horse photography I mainly use the Canon lens EF 70-200mm f/2.8, a telephoto lens, with which I can get close to the horses even from a greater distance and take detailed pictures. This lens is also optimal with regard to the high degree of background removal, even from a greater distance.
Yes, you can book me for shootings. I offer everything around horse photography and stable photography. This can go from a more artistically oriented horse shooting with rider and horse or only with a horse up to advertising photography. I also take horse sales pictures or show photos, depending on your wishes, and even if pictures are needed for a website, I am happy to help. I am located in Hessen, close to Frankfurt, but I also take pictures all over Germany on request.
Where can we find you and your work and get in contact with you?
Thank you, Tanja, for the interview!