Horse Photography: What time of Day is Best to Take Photos of Horses?

Carol Walker Blog

Two stallions, Bolder and Cappucino, in the Pryor Mountains at dawn

When you are photographing horses and other subjects,  take into account the quality and quantity of light on your subject. We see because of light, and we can photograph because there is light. Taking advantage of the best light so that you can improve your photos is important.

Have you noticed that in the middle of the day, shadows are harsh and unflattering?  On the other hand, in the early morning and the late afternoon, the light is softer, and just after sunrise and just before sunset is that time we call “magic light” when your subject will glow with the warm tones of the light.

Rider at Sombrero Ranch in the flattering light of late afternoon

I try to schedule all my shoots either in the early morning or late afternoon.  Two hours after dawn and two hours before sunset are ideal times.  If you have trouble getting your subjects out of bed early in the morning, as I occasionally do, try for late afternoon.

If you have to shoot in the middle of the day, find some shade – a tree, the side of the barn, or if it is a cloudy day, the light is diffuse and you can shoot later.

An overcast allows you to shoot later in the day

I recommend experimenting with this, and taking photographs at different times of the day.  See how the time of day and quality of the light changes your photos.  If you  pay attention to the light, I promise your photos will improve.

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