One fall day a friend an I went out to shoot photos of subject matter. I said to her “Look at those big horses. Let’s go ask if we can take their pictures.”
The ranchers wife was agreeable and led us out to the pasture but warned us, “whatever you do, don’t act intimidated or they will bully you.” There were eight big Belgians way across the field. I took a few photos and wishing they were closer called out “Here Horsey Horsey”. They stopped grazing, looked up at me and then all galloped together towards me. ‘Help me God!’ I thought as they thundered towards me, slowed down and circled me. The ranchers words ‘don’t act intimidated…’, came to mind. One of them started nibbling on my hair. Turning towards him, I said firmly “Back off”. Miraculously, they lost interest in me and instead meandered around near by striking various poses. This painting was accepted to the Watercolor Art Society-Houston 2017.
Making a camera date to gather pictures for painting is not always this exciting, but it is a good idea. Adjust for lighting or weather. Noon for me is not a good time, the sunlight is overhead and the shadows are the most boring. I generally prefer to take pictures before 10:30 a.m. and after 3:30 p.m. Choose your drama level. Shadows get longer and more dramatic closer to sunrise or sunset. If you see something lit up in an amazing way and don’t have your camera, note the time and come back another day. Regarding color, morning light is cooler and afternoon light is warmer. It’s nice to have a friend along and a good idea to get permission to take pictures, particularly with horses. Take a photo release along if you want to photograph people.