Listening to NPR yesterday morning, the alleged forecast was for thunderstorms in the morning and clear blue skies with strong winds for the afternoon. Perfect! For photographing horses on the beach in the month of May, you could not ask for a better combination of weather patterns.
The hazy effect at the bottom of both these photographs is the result of blowing sand. The stuff plays hell on your face and camera gear of course but it makes for a rather unique, almost dreamy like feel to the photographs. On the second photograph of the mare and colt I moved up to a slightly elevated angle to where I could shoot down at the horses from the edge of the dunes. This allowed me to utilize the surf zone as something of a patterned background for composition rather than having a horizon line and sky in the mix. Typically I do not like to place the horses heads below the horizon line in my photos unless the horizon line itself is completely above the fame as it is in this picture. I do this because our culture views these animals as regal and majestic. Placing the horizon line low in the frame give these animals a commanding presence in the photograph – playing on our preconceived notions and romanticism. This is, I think, a perfect example of how basic psychology plays into a viewers response to a photograph.