kathyvid PRO+

Icelandic Horse in Lupine

Image captured in Iceland in June, in a field of lupine. Icelandic horses have such interesting manes!

Image captured in Iceland in June, in a field of lupine. Icelandic horses have such interesting manes!
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1 Comment | Report
JayneBug Platinum
JayneBug September 04, 2018
Love this. The colorful lupine is a wonderful setting and the wild mane is great! Nice capture. Congratulations.

Behind The Lens

This image was captured in Iceland in June 2018 - where there was 23.9 hours of sunlight. The Icelandic horses are very special. Their manes are wild, voluminous, and practically glow in the wind. I wanted to emphasize this so I waited for a gust of wing before clicking. (You don't have to wait long in Iceland for wind to gust!). The horses of Iceland are small in stature but very very sturdy. They have an.unusual gait - a fifth gait compared to most horses' four gaits. It is called "tolting". It's a bit like a trot, but it is so smooth that the rider doesn't. move at all, and could be carrying a cup of coffee without a ripple on the surface.
The photo was taken at around 10 AM. At this time of year in Iceland, the sun shines almost 24 hours, so the lighting doesn't change much over the course of the day, especially given the prevalence of clouds.
I liked the lighting in Iceland in the summer, because it was soft given the general cloudiness, with occasional shafts of light shining through those clouds. There were few shadows, and in this scene that was an advantage because shadows might have distracted from the colorful lupine background.
I used a Nikon D500. Camera: NIKON D500, set with Aperture: f/6.3,ISO: 400 and Shutter Speed: 1/1000.t The horses (there were two) were running through the lupine towards me, so I caught quite a few images. I liked this one the best because of the disheveled mane. Because the horse was moving rapidly, I used a tripod to capture the action.
Lupine in Iceland is plentiful, though it is not a native plant. It was imported from the Pacific Northwest in North America and has almost taken over the land. It was imported in order to improve the fertility of the lava-rich soil, but as is often the case when importing non-native species, this backfired a bit. I wanted to tell a story using this beautiful plant, and posing an Iceland horse running through a field of lupine provided a perfect story.
I did add a tiny bit of Topaz glow to the mane to emphasize the drama that occurs when the wind stirs the plentiful hair, which is unusually textured.
In my camera bag
I am generally a Nikon shooter, carrying at least two camera bodies and multiple lenses so as to adapt to any particular circumstance. I really like the 70/200 lens for its versatility, and often use it in the field. I also carry a 14/24 lens for the wide angle, and a longer zoom lens (80/400) to catch birdlife. On this trip, I also carried a Sigma 150/600 lens to capture puffin images.
I encourage any photographer to visit Iceland if possible. It affords terrific opportunities with bird photography and the plentiful Icelandic horses. The landscapes are very unusual, with plentiful and ever-present lichen decorating the lava rock. The contrast between vibrant green and charcoal/black rock is beautiful. Around every corner, there is likely a waterfall to add drama to the scene. And lupine meadows are also plentiful. Capturing an image like this one required some coordination with the horse wranglers, who cooperated by releasing horses on cue when I was ready to capture the shot. This was repeated to give me plenty of opportunities to capture the unique beauty of the Icelandic horse.

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