Horse Photography Settings

edited November 2012 Posted in » Nikon D3100 Forum
I am looking to move into the world of horse photography. I just bought a Nikon D3100 and I'm looking to photograph show jumping (both indoor and outdoor), cross country, and some dressage (mainly outdoor). I was wondering if you could give me some tips on setting the ISO, shutter speed and aperture. I know I will need a better lens also, and I have just bought a 55-200mm on eBay. I will post the model number tomorrow. Any help would be great. I do have some pictures I have taken with my Fugi Finepix point and shoot.



  • edited November 2012
    First off welcome to the world of DSLR and to the site.
    You are jumping (no pun intended) into a world that requires patience and a lot of spare cash (sport photography especially). This is one of the most talked about subjects on here and everybody has the same question; normally the environment is indoor and in low light situations. I'm not a fan of sport photography only because I know that I would get frustrated with it. You will see why soon.

    You need two things in life when shooting fast moving objects; a lot of light and a good lens (ideally a telephoto lens). Others on the forum with the same question are looking for super sharp images and good quality.

    You have a slight advantage though, your sport can be shot outside, hopefully during the day.
    If so, you will able to and should get some shots with the lens you have. I would recommend you read the manual and get familiar with the camera. No disrespect, but people coming from a point and shoot to DSLR think that the camera will produce much better images just because its better.
    My advice is not to use the sport setting or even auto, rather try one of the pro modes. If you don't feel confident go ahead and learn from the scene modes.

    Just for starters turn the dial to S, select a high shutter speed, and take different shots. On a nice clear day use an ISO of 100, or if it's cloudy or overcast try 400.
    The focus should be AF-C that way you can pan with the camera and the subject should be in focus.
    Hope to see you back and let us know how you did.
  • edited November 2012
    Hello everyone.
    First of all, sorry for my bad English, I'm from Belgium.
    I'm a beginner (2 months) to DSLR myself.
    A few weeks ago I tried my first sports shooting during my son's soccer game.
    I also use the 55-200mm with my D3100, and here are the settings that I used:

    Mode: Manual
    Aperture: the lowest number possible
    Shutter speed: 1/2000 (I'm going to try slower next time to drop the ISO)
    ISO: Auto with a maximum of 1600
    Focus mode: AF-C
    AF area mode: Dynamic

    When shooting, I aimed one of the focus dots on the chest of the players and shot in continuous mode.

    You can see some of the results on my Flickr:

  • edited November 2012
    What great shots. This lens does work well outside in good lighting. Manual is also is much better because you can control everything. Knowledge does help though.
    I'm sure your knowledge added is going to be a great help to others.
  • edited November 2012
    Thanks Riddelske.
  • i shoot my horses outside in clear daylight but i just got the 55-200 lens and im having trouble with the settings to get good shots, ive been shooting my son and horses for 3 years but this lens is new to me, please help if possible for exact settings for outdooe shots of my horses who can move quickly and indoor lighting for barn shots... please help. im stressing like crazy trying to get these right.
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