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The Art of Wildlife Photography

Lesson 19 of 24

Landscape and Portraits in the Field: Horses


The Art of Wildlife Photography

Lesson 19 of 24

Landscape and Portraits in the Field: Horses


Lesson Info

Landscape and Portraits in the Field: Horses

we're just driving down the road and sell the horses idea is always pretty mounds look great beautiful clouds son is still okay it's mid morning almost on the's air dude dude ranch horses when there's a dude ranch down here and they're out they're pasturing in the summer and in winter they move himself but anyway it's worth a shot of horses against the mountains and so we're just going down here she if you just probably ill I see it is mostly ah ah white angle medium wide angle um twenty two three hundred twenty two seventy something like that and if you want to shoot head shots no beck is a big horse photographer and she's got a one hundred four hundred and she publico shoot some headshots in portrait so do whatever you like but uh with those mountains issue one shot with the mountains I have one question so walking up with the brightness I figured oso one hundred but I don't have my tripod so I have to compensate for shaking so what would you suggest that she s o four hundred four hu...

ndred and give you a five hundred the speed or more and that would be one over five hundred won over five hundred shares okay give you eleven sixteen twenty two lots of uh depth of field and plenty fast a hand hold it so you know tripods are great people use him a lot I tend for this kind of thing relying on high shutter speeds holding it steady and skipping the tripod but a lot of people swear by tripods and I do for long lenses but for sure things like this and we're gonna spend all day this is not you know this's a record shot I would maybe do it but this is and then we have to go see some bison so we're hidden run normal by put on four hundred s over two hundred and we can stop here and get the fence so we get the fence in the horses uh this you know kind of the western jackson hole scene and then we'll go down to the fancy shoot over the fence so the fence is no longer part of the composition now the horses that were left a little bit clustered have all had their heads down so it would be better when the horses have their heads up and so just wait for that moment see there now the ones crossing from the white one little separation now not bad but I almost have a lot of butts to us better wonder sideways her forward now that paints moving that's better so shoot that clued defense as you like it I'm getting I'm pune your pretty well shooting in a t a lot of clout because you're beautiful I'm getting that yellow cotton with back there which kind of accents that's pretty so she don't want you to tight but I think mainly watch the positions of the horses the gesture of the horses because you're going to find later you're going to see that you know horses look like they're you know they're all ones get its head up the elements but er you know one's got six legs and nobody and so look for that separation and if the head's rap if we walked down to the to the fence there the mighty yeah walk towards us because they're so used to people and so people got to have the shot you got the shot of the fence okay let's walk down look closer they're separated nicely right now but I would wait for the moment when atleast three year the heads are up to right now they look like headless beast so there's a black went up in the bay and just just wait for that moment when their heads are up and they might they might move you know they eat there and then I moved maybe becky's the horse whisper so expect you to do something becky mickey shot a lot of wild horses lately one of the best were gonna rely on her magic so you say when becky I'm a shut up ok guys ready got it frames I'm a four hundred eyes so when I have a twelve hundred fifty shutter speed and f thirteen that will give me plenty of depth of field with the horses and the grass in the foreground in the mountain if I want a little more depth of field will make it sixteen and they'll give me an f sixteen give me this grass and foreground was so be sharp focus on the horses and the mountain will be sharp busy we're focusing between uh the mountain in the mid foreground so they're not cooperating just perfectly but one heads up they're hungry let's walk down where this paint is because he looks more ah animated putting my twenty four to seventy there you go switch back to the four hundred stop running horses you need to shoot like a five hundredth of a second for a thousand well I was going to take a portrait of these guys against a mountain and becky just recognize that there are two horses of their galloping so I switched back to the long lens now they could galloping so I'm switching back to the twenty four to seventy factored a portrait with the with the horses this's beautiful wide scene so right now I'm shooting of thirty five millimeter thirty maybe forty but now we had this big space between kind of two herds so we have to wait till the the white horse is filling in the blank there heads or down just give a minute no we might move down to these three ponies here and they might move away from the fence and joined those guys out there and they'll be really close this is a really great western scene it's a classic jackson hole scene could be steamboat springs colorado or other places of course that times have changed that it's nice to practice on things like this just may be there's nothing else around you just take advantage of of what you have to deal with you know and this is what is served up we drove by so these horses the mountains are gorgeous some color in the cottonwoods so you just take advantage of the situation we could let's go down to these three horses here and let's see if we could work with them you're beautiful it's a little difficult to get you in the mountains a little close this white horse here it might be possible let's go here on the white horse in background what would be the best shot in this scenario focusing on this horse with the rest out of in this situation from the white horse on the left a little bit stand here because he needs to be in a left hand part and so you're playing this white horse off that white horse off the mountain I'd skip the dark horses on the right good idea get down low and I would sit on f twenty two and that would focus probably just beyond this clothes horse so you be you should be everything should be in focus and of twenty two regardless if he listens head up without whistling but it's okay for horses but he's used to that isn't and you could try a vertical here and uh with the mountain in the vertical now the dark horses coming in there which is fine wait and check your exposure because it's uh a little challenging but looks good for the nikon shooters always put on a minus third and just leave it there ninety nine ninety nine percent of time a minus thirty will give you a better exposure than zero now the two horses in the background had the heads up so put the white horse in the right bottom corner and wait for the black horse and left to turn his head so you can tell he has a head if you can know that white horse is looking at a sort of make sure you don't get this fence shadow in in the frame low angle looks good kind of blocks the tetons okay I think we should go on if you still have a nice light we should go on and hopefully find some pronghorn in cem cem bison all right so I know that we have the selects from this so I would love for you to go over these and look at them okay um you could tell there's so many compositions some of the angles um obviously our goal was to maximizes the mountains the clouds the weather the drama and you know the vice and again back to that animal in the landscape thing that's my favorite thing to do and with that many animals it's hard to get them all right and they don't take direction with the damn um but for this one um and I didn't even see the selects for somebody selected these um but you know you got a pretty good you know his heads up and it doesn't matter this was down's gonna burn on that that's kind of nice and that's kind of not not too bad and he's he's walking pretty good gesture you know that yellow cotton wood is really since little sweet accent and of course that you know the aspens in the background here help a bit and but the clouds of quite dramatic and of course the tones were always beautiful um should I mean that's why we selected that when I guess and see what else we have and these air nice looking the other direction again the hill uh what's with the aspens on it was kind of the end of the season for us ask princes but a week late um a lot of those trees that the leaves are blowing off you see about the twenty fifth of september so um it depends every year twenty twenty fifth thirtieth um the aspirin speaking but so weak before there's more gold in that would have been a bit better but this is pretty nice because you get all the separation between the animals and they'll have their heads up so uh that works pretty well and you've got this again beautiful landscape in beautiful grass and you know good um good gesture you know a moment um and if john john so did you have a lot more room over john c I didn't I didn't have any more room and cars you could cut that out let if you wanted to but he's great but he's pretty good this guy's slightly bothersome are those two so again it's it's really you have to spend time you know we had an hour to there and I think we did pretty well but it uh it takes more time and the same way with the horses and we had you know pretty great weather but it was in a midday and um this is is okay with the you know the paint and a palomino there on dh we still have some color in the trees nice guy it would be nice to have one of the one of the ponies to this head up obviously but for feeding um horses not too bad and of course that the gesture of the tail makes that kind of fun and we saw that on that one of the wild horses that we did and you know it's not the best placement um you know if he was a little bit off to the left and the teton what's a little more visible that would be a better image is that the last one maybe uh so we have a little bit of time for questions they wouldn't have one in the room right here I'm steve holt the is this with the polarizer this particular shot um it looks like it is yeah I appear on took it off so I don't know okay you're on but it looks like it is you specifically said that you didn't weigh aren't going to whistle and are there any times when you would whistle or moon the wildlife for a while yeah now tim whistle you know I don't like whistling it things but of course horses and then after I said without whistling but you know courses these air was so whistled at every day or called or whoever knows what do do guys get that get their attendance something like horses you whistle your butt off if you want I don't care but normally um I'm kind of annoyed like you know we could whistle at the bison and then we can make in a way doesn't get their head to look up and do that but I don't think that's kind of fair to them because they're feeding that you had to do their thing and most attempted you know people will salute him so much they like you know christ another tourist s so it doesn't you know really really work basically uh yeah and that's I think something to point out when you said that some of these were not exactly what you would finalize because you've talked a lot of in this course about patients and about being there for a long time to get this shot and we're on a schedule because this was appreciate for this course yeah that's what you were doing it was hit and run photography way did we could yeah great question from somebody and two others were also wanting to know this with horses is tom still shooting cloudy white balance in a situation like this where there are clouds but mostly blue sky and in hotter climates how do you deal with heat shimmer from the ground so for cloudy white balance you know there's a little difference between sonny and claudia to me and of course in post processing you could just that just to me uh I'm question this is on cloudy more than I wasn't worried about that little difference in white balance but if I thought about it I would have put it on sonny but I'm quite sure on cloudy um in hot climate with shimmer you shoot earlier in the day were later in the day with this less shimmer except sometimes the shimmer gives it some like in africa you get these mirage looking things and you get that drafts for the elephants going across a say a salt pan and it kind of cool you know you get this otherwordly sort of shimmer and sometimes use it to your vantage but if you want a sharp image it's difficult especially with long lenses um so you use it to your advantage and make it um work or not one of the things I find is you keep thinking about is speaking of that is like when you're a car on dh shooting and a cold weather and you have your car running say or your car's warm and you're shooting out the window remember that the heat going out the window it creates the shimmer and you won't see it until you wonder why you're all your images or kind of uh out of focus or and so whenever you if you do shoot in winter time like I do often shut your car off in my freezer death but you get the shot that's great uh jump hawk and three others can you talk just a little bit about me during modes which one do you use most often and why but spot the value of something um I'm ninety nine percent of time put on matrix meeting matrix it's so sophisticated especially since you know the new cameras and things and media used to be such a pain in the butt with with the older cameras you know there was either spot or situated and gosh these these matrix meters you know they've got a million's of of images in their computer and they know that's a sons that they know that's a beach they know that's no ninety five percent of the time it's right on then you have really weird situations like the bison it doesn't know the bison are you know you're pointing at a bison uh might know thatyou're pointing a labrador black labrador say but you know it will it will overexpose the bison like I explain if you have a full frame side of a bison are ahead and I find in this class tactician jackson people would go out air all the time and all the bison are overexposed because the meter thinks there's not a lot of light there so there are times that the meter's fooled and I find also that for some reason the nikon meter and I'm not sure about the other kinds of cameras do not do well with greens like um conifers so trees and for some reason that's not programmed into the their little brain so you have to you look at the history graham and then use your exposure compensation but you still you know regardless but but there's no reason you spot spot meeting maybe on that we saw the leopard yesterday in a tree just a face on we've seen a few other things that you want just that to be exposed perfectly and that's when you would use spot metering or maybe centre waited but ninety five percent of time I leave it on matrix one last question less way of two people um it's going in back here uh uh you have a question from tom do you use noise reduction when you shooting it on hi s o's and if you do like friends your eight ten's got four different settings which one do you use normal this is an army yeah do that it would be the post and posted working the noise reduction thanks in video the presence of the fence suggested this was private land and of course they horses were domestic app uh animals on at other times you're shooting in the national park what sort of permissions do you need that is actually all national park it all belongs to the park and the concessions in the park like hotels restaurants there's some in holdings with private houses that were there before the park and this is basically a concession that is up every twenty years and people bid on it it's a horse uh dude ranch concession is triangle x but there's a number of those dude ranches around but it's a park property we could have walked out to the horses as faras is public we could have walked out to them for that matter because it's our land that doesn't belong to the dude ranch but they have a least to run their horses and to house people in to take him on hikes and horse rides and stuff like that but so you don't need any permission you know obviously the park and you know they have you know generals is you have to stay a hundred yards away from bears and wolves in twenty five yards from large mammals those in you know of course nesting birds and things like that they have there's really twenty five yards is is the quote regulation and that's easy because you know you can shoot a moose or anything but the three hundred millimeter lands or our long legs you don't need to be culture than that so that's a reasonable rule yeah okay we've got one more question and then we're gonna take our lunch break any comment about shooting vertical versus horizontal in general on what when you choose one or the other I see horizontally I mean that's the way this's what my vision is so I rarely shoot verticals um magazine photographers or people who are looking doing books and I do a little engagement calendar every year which are mostly verticals so my people are saying we need more verticals so in the back of my head I hear these little noises saying you had to shoot a vertical in that but if you're shooting obviously covers of magazines and that's where your brain is um and that's what your job is then you shoot more verticals butt and some people c verticals all the time I see this way and I think other people see that way other people see um both ways

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Learn wildlife and outdoor photography from one of the most prolific nature photographers of our time in The Art of Wildlife Photography with Tom Mangelsen.

Drawing lessons from his 40 years of observing and photographing the Earth's last great wild places, Tom will discuss the complex process behind his breathtaking wildlife photographs. You’ll learn:

  • What it takes to be a great wildlife photographer
  • How to capture wildlife in their natural environment
  • The best places to find animals
  • How to increase the visibility of your work
  • The importance of respecting wildlife and wildlife ethics

Tom will cover the basics of gear and scouting and teach you how to think about lighting when capturing animals in the wild. Tom will also offer a critique images and portfolios submitted by viewers.

If you have a passion for outdoor photography and want to capture the spirit of wildlife in your camera, join Tom Mangelsen for this inspiring and educational class.


a Creativelive Student

There is probably just one word that comes closest to describing Tom Mangelsen’s photography. Glorious. There are other good words too, of course. And they are also inadequate. Mangelsen’s panoramas are (cumulatively and separately (any one of them)) the best I’ve seen. Mangelsen teaches by example and his examples are exemplary. I’ve seen several photographers giving courses on CreativeLive lately many of whose photos I would love to have taken - but with Mangelsen I envy his possession not just of his photos but of their subjects too. And he does possess his subjects in ways many outstanding photographers fail to - possesses them and then leaves them to continue on with their lives. There are other reasons I’m grateful for this course too - his field trips and critiques have shown me (as with other CreativeLive courses) just how lazy I’m being with my work. And if his critiques aren’t motivation enough I only have to view his slide show ‘Last Great Wild Places’ for more inspiration. The photos in this series are revelations all on their own - even without commentary. Thank you CreativeLive for continuing to bring us the finest wildlife and nature photographers at work today - and thank you to photographers like Tom Mangelsen for giving us a look at the way they work.


I could not stop watching this class and set aside time each day until I finished it. I guess you could saw that I binge watched it. Then I was really sad when it was finished! Like a good movie that stays with you and that you don't want to end! This is a wonderful class and the best I have taken at CreativeLive. I learned so much and have a great fondness for Tom Mangelsen. He really knows how to pull you into his passion. I am so grateful to have taken this course and grateful to Tom for all that he has done in his career to further his craft and to share it. I am inspired! If you are going to purchase and course from CreativeLive, this is one to be sure to take!!! Thank you again.

Dub Maitland

Excellent class! An incredibly talented photographer who has a vast knowledge of the subject matter as well as an outstanding ability to deliver the information. It was as enjoyable as it was informative. I first saw Tom's work in an office in Denver in 1991 and have been inspired by him ever since. Thank you Creative Live, for giving us the opportunity to spend this time with the Master! And thank you Tom for your willingness to share your talent with us! Dub Maitland, Missoula, MT.