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Lighting Horses: The Creation – Entry One

30th March 2018

Welcome! I am very excited to be sharing my new blog series “Lighting Horses: The Creation” with you all. Here I plan to take you along with me and experience my learning curve of how to beautifully and creatively light horses in the studio. As well as giving me a space to document my own journey and track my progress, I hope it might serve to inspire, inform and educate others who either lack confidence to act on their creative vision or like me simply don’t know where to start.

“The word photography was created from the Greek roots φωτός (phōtos), genitive of φῶς (phōs), “light” and γραφή (graphé) “representation by means of lines” or “drawing”, together meaning “drawing with light”.”
-Source,Wikipedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photography

My journey into studio lighting began as I realised I have very particular images in mind that I want to produce that either can’t be done by relying on natural light or would be much easier to achieve using a controlled lighting set up that gives me the ability to modify and precisely direct light.

Thus far in my own confidence building quest, I have found that although there are abundant resources for learning lighting techniques I have found no guides in how to apply these effectively to horses. My working process initially has been to take set ups that I spot from behind the scenes or those used for lighting human portraits and replicate the basic format, then adapt them until I achieve what i’m after. Ultimately though the aim is to refine my workflow and skillset enough that when I envision an image in my head I know exactly how I will go about lighting it.

As such I really hope that people might use this as a resource to develop their own basic understanding and use it much the same as I have implemented what i’ve learnt. This is a starting point for you to explore your own style. This isn’t a how to tutorial or a step by step guide. I won’t be telling you exactly what to do because only you know what it is that you want to create.

My best piece of advice for now is to simply start. Practical application, learning by doing and getting hands on will be your best education. You can sit behind a computer and learn lighting theory all day long but you need the application skills too. I think it is also important to remember that you learn as much by getting it wrong as you do by getting it right, if not more. My entire career I have been learning on the job and I am a strong believer that nothing was a failure if you learnt something from it.

I look forward to sharing it all with you so sit back, enjoy the journey, learn, fail, grow and get creating with me!