2 Oct 2008

Photographing horses in Menorca

One of the great photo opportunities we often enjoy on our photography holidays in Menorca is the chance to photograph horses – very special horses. We spend some time at the trotting races, where we are welcomed to visit the stables and photograph the race preparations. We use the races themselves as exercises in panning technique and I teach everyone the art of ‘following through’ with the camera as the subjects race past – very much like the ‘follow though’ in a golf swing. This has produced some fantastic shots… you may remember Maria Falconer’s action-packed picture I posted some time ago. Click here.

Now most photographers need a fair bit of help and practice to perfect the panning technique, but on our latest holiday we had one snapper, George Greenhill, who amazed us all with his panning accuracy. Even when the horses were racing past us a top speed, the horses and riders were always perfectly framed in every picture he took. It was uncanny just how easy he found it to get great panned action pictures.

I expected that George had done this before, so I asked him where he had learned the technique.

“In the army,” said George, “I was a machine gunner”.

I would hate to be on the receiving end of Georges sure-fire technique.

Menorca is famous for, among other thing, its dancing horses. These jet black beauties are taught the most extraordinary dressage routines and to rear up on their hind legs. The horses are a great attraction at fiestas and weddings. Our photography group was lucky enough to witness a wedding party at our hotel at which the rearing horses were to be a great attraction.

The party was held at night in the street outside the Hotel, so the light was just about as difficult as it could possibly be. But just look at these two photographs produced by Ken Terry – fantastic pictures that have captured the wonderful atmosphere of the event. Ken used his new Canon EOS-1D Mk111. He pushed the ISO right up to 3200 and was able to shoot at 1/30sec at f3.2

There are more pictures and stories from Menorca to come.

These holidays have proved a great success and if you’d like to join us next year please let me know as soon as possible. I’ll be putting the dates and costs up on the photoactive website very soon.

Pictures by Ken Terry and George Greenwell

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