The play with shadow and light

Who would have guessed, that our inside arena will become my favorite place for taking pictures? I used to hate it. It is dark, I have to max out my camera to get a decent shot and never know if I am able to save the picture afterwards. Well. That is if I want a "normal" riding picture with an evenly exposed picture.

But what if I start using this darkness and set my light intentionally? This way I am suddenly having a whole new set of possibilities and now the dark arena is perfect, because it turns off all the sourrounding lights.

After my row of long exposure shots, this time I have added a new element to the scenery: fog.

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Using a smoke machine for my creative pictures was a dream of mine for a long time and entering this dark season was the perfect occasion. When it gets grey and muddy outside it's awesome to move things into the arena. But let's do it artsy! The great advantage of the fog is, that it makes light visible. This is a whole new playground for me and I can't wait to explore it further.

Magic light - just by pushing a button

Using natural light and the possibilities nature gives me has made me the photographer I am today. Not being able to change certain settings is a hard school. But worth approaching. Using those skills now and creating settings myself is like I am entering a new level in my photography.

When an arena becomes the perfect studio

We don't need much to create this results. An arena with closed walls and off we go. If the sun is shining, or not. We will create the perfect scenery. In this case, the sun was absolutely enough to create the right light situation. But also working with artificial light is possible and will create equally beautiful results.

Winter is the perfect time for this project. During the dark season I am having much more possibilities to control the light myself. While in this arena it worked perfectly with the sun shining through the small opening, but otherwise a rather dark setting, I might want to avoid sunlight in other arenas and rather work with artificial light.

Not as easy as it looks

Even though I can't stop raving about this project, I have to say it is definitely not a beginner setting. Using the autofocus became hard at some point, so I switched to manual. Finding the right angles, shooting in full silhouette, and controlling shadows and light are things that have to happen very intentionally to still shoot the horse in a pleasing manner. The fog itself does not create, but basically IS grain in the picture, and not too little. Using the right settings to still get an enjoyable picture is crucial for a good result. All in all the pictures as you see them are pretty much out of cam, I am not editing a lot. The scene simply was this way, no need for me to alter it a lot.

The horse in the fog

Surprisingly, the horses were much more relaxed about the smoke than I first thought. I used a professional smoke machine with super high-density oil. This setup allowed me to have a lot of fog, even though I didn't run the machine very often; this way, we didn't have to add more stress to the situation. We had one rather nervous mare with and even she was super cool about the fog. I am very pleased!

Of course, the materials used are all health-safe. This kind of fog is also used at concerts and is approved for humans and animals.

Are you up for a shoot in the fog?

I am definitely just beginning exploring the possibilities of my new setup, but I am more than thrilled to add this kind of shoot to my services!

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Hej, I'm Anna

The horse-girl behind the camera

Welcome to my world of equine fine art photography! This is me - Anna, a German living in Denmark, loving horses, dogs and Lakridskugler. Always ready to try creative ideas, explore beautiful locations, or finding the beauty in your daily life. Read more about my work.

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