Critique from Harry Wendt of Mylio.com and Digital Photo Academy Team-Sarah Corbin – “Galloping through the Marsh”
You’ve made a lot of really nice decisions here, Sarah. First, we like the sepia tone. We were wondering if you chose to shoot in monochrome or if it was a post-process choice. A lot of pros will tell you to make the choice in the camera to shoot monochrome, instead of it being a computer edit.
You’ve done a great job of capturing these wild horses in their own world. Composition-wise, there really are no suggestions for you here. This is a really nicely layered image with the water in the foreground, the horses and splashing water in the mid, and the reeds and trees in the background, all which bring our eyes back to the subject.
Geographically, we would advise you that there are still wild horse and pony herds in Tonto National Park, near Saguaro Lake in Arizona (though these are going to be relocated), and along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Artistically, we would recommend you look up Robert Farber and Bobbie Goodrich, both of whom photograph wild horses. You might also be interested in the work of Paul Caponigro, who shot wild white deer. He was born in 1932, and a world renown master shooter and father of accomplished photographer, John Pajul Caponigro.
The high shutter speed and 5.6 f-stop are both great technical choices. The shutter speed is going to stop the action of the horses and water splashing. The 5.6 aperture is enough to keep your subjects within your depth of field, but keep your foreground and background out of focus. My suggestions on technique would be that if you shoot a little lower shutter speed (anything over 1/1000s should stop the action) you could lower your ISO, increasing image quality and decreasing noise (not that any noise is seen here, just a note).
We looked at your other images on your site and see that you make good post-production choices. We also liked the profile picture of the horses that we saw. We were wondering if you used a brush (Mylio will have brushes as of Monday) to burn in the background behind the horses a little? If so, was it a conscious choice to leave some shadow in the bushes immediately surrounding the horses to help them stand out, or was that just a lucky coincidence? Either way, it really helps the white horses pop out of the background.