This picture was taken indoors with photo flood lights. The backdrop is a poster-size photographic backdrop that I bought from a fellow hobbyist. Working with detailed backdrops and artificial lighting can be tricky, and here I didn't get it quite right as the shadows on the backdrop illustrate. I did at least get the footing to blend fairly well. The model is one of my most treasured: "Ayisha" is the Shania resin released by by Vicki Keeling, painted by the late Kathy McKenzie.
This photo was taken on my dining room table. The lighting is a combination of photo floods and the sunlight coming in through a large window. A simple matte blue poster served as the backdrop. The Quarter Horse stallion pictured is a top show horse and old favorite of mine. "Johnny Reye" is one of the original QH1 resins by the talented Carol Williams. The more modest accomplishments of tack and fence are by Yours Truly.
Despite the glare off the models glossy finish, I am not wholly displeased with this test shot - considering I threw the setup together in about five minutes on my bedroom floor. "Red Oak Stormchaser", a Peter Stone original finish Chips series, is a considerably smaller scale model than Ayisha or Johnny Reye, which certainly gives me more flexibilty as to where I can set up a scene. On the downside, working with smaller models also absolutely requires me to wear a pair of reading glasses if any props or tack need to be adjusted.
Another quick floor setup with a different backdrop and ground mat. Conventional showing wisdom holds that you really ought to keep as much of the model in profile as possible, to give judges a good view of the horses conformation, but some individuals just beg to be taken from different angles. I can't help but love this models action and flair. This little guy is my 'rock star', a Breyer Stablemate who goes by the show name of ""ZZ Topper".
The background here got washed out by the lighting, not helped by the fact that it's a simple printout of a picture I found on the internet and was washed out to begin with. Tilting it foward a bit to cut down on the glare and moving it further behind the model would have improved things. Nevertheless, this OF Breyer Stablemate Saddlebred, "Crystal Cabaret", still managed to win a 1st place her first time out. Luckily for me she's pretty enough to carry the show herself when my photography falls short.
I am learning the hard way that a digital SLR camera "sees" things very differently than a manual SLR, especially when it comes to the interpretation of color under artificial lighting. After a LOT of trial and error I am getting a shot that's at least workable more often than not. I'll admit I still cheat: once I get a particular horse looking pretty good in the digital camera preview, I'll try to line up other horses in the same color range for that shooting session (and those specific camera settings!). This is Arjen, a Breyerfest 2009 Tent Special model. I didn't have any more buckskin horses at hand who needed photos at the time - but I did have two palominos! ;-)