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Majestic Mini



I've driven past this pony many times, but the light tonight made me whip around, drive over one lawn, and park on another (just the grass by the road..I didn't...
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I've driven past this pony many times, but the light tonight made me whip around, drive over one lawn, and park on another (just the grass by the road..I didn't ruin a front yard for this, I promise.), because I couldn't pass this up. I am SO happy that I stopped. Introducing Magic Mini Pony.
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Contest Finalist in Horses Photo Contest 2015
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In The Farm Photo ContestTop 10 class
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2 Comments | Report
1Ernesto
 
1Ernesto July 01, 2014
Great photo! Wonderful capture with the wind making the mane on the Magic Mini Pony fly
JDLifeshots
 
JDLifeshots June 17, 2015
Beautiful shot! Congrats.

Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken in the beautiful farmlands of Howell, New Jersey.
Time
I shot this around 6pm--I was driving home from the barn, and the sunlight glistening in the grass was what first caught my eye. I was so distracted by it that I almost missed the mini horse that was standing in the field.
Lighting
The lighting was what made me pull over, especially once I saw the mini standing in the field. When I saw how he was back-lit by the glistening grass I realized that there was a wonderful photograph waiting to be created. I quickly spun my car around, drove over half a lawn, parked, and then ran out and grabbed the shot.
Equipment
I shot this with my Nikon D90 and Tamron 70-300 f4.6. That's all I had with me at that point!
Inspiration
I can't say I was inspired to take this shot, but I can tell you that I had been waiting for a really long time to photograph this mini. He has always had a certain air about him--he's very noble looking! This photo is actually what ended up inspiring me to continue pursuing photography professionally. My father passed in 2009, but I still "talk" to him on a daily basis--he was a professional wildlife photographer, and I always valued his opinion of my work. The day I shot this photo, I had been having a really down day, and I had just put out there into the universe, "Dad, if you can hear me, give me a sign if you think I shouldn't give up on photography." I was driving, and it was then that this scene unfolded in front of me. When I finally parked and found the best vantage point, I turned my lens on the mini. He immediately looked up to see what I was doing. Just as he looked right into my lens a breeze picked up, and blew his mane the way you see it in the photo. I knew that was all the sign I needed from my father. This shot is what has kept me going in this industry, as difficult as it has been.
Editing
I did some very mild post-processing on this shot. I toned down the highlights just a tad, and boosted the contrast minimally. The sun was casting the perfect glow, and I didn't want to take away from that too much by over-editing.
In my camera bag
In October I was fortunate enough to finally upgrade all my equipment, so I have since retired my D90, which served me very well for many years. I photograph horses frequently, especially racehorses, so I always have my Nikkor 70-200, f2.8 attached to my Nikon D750. I also keep my Nikkor 85mm, f1.4 on me at all times, and have my Nikkor 18-200 DX to walk around with. One day I'll upgrade that one...I use a Nissin Digital Mark II Di866 flash, which I love, but only use when I'm shooting live bands, which is something I do a lot of, as well.
Feedback
Be observant of the light around you, always. I've found that the more familiar I become with lighting in the areas I frequently shoot (barns, fields, racetracks, concert halls), the better my photos have become. Always be aware of your surroundings--I think it's an ability most photographers already have, but there are so many distractions now a days, that it's easy to miss something. If I hadn't happened to be intrigued by the sun-lit grass, I would have never even stopped to take this shot. Sometimes the best photos come from these unexpected moments that most non-photographers might overlook.

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