Scott Trees: Photographing Horses With The Help Of Diffusion

Tx Wkshop 13 278

For the variety of subjects I shoot, I generally prefer a soft light. However, it is not unusual that the time demands during an assignment dictate that I shoot with a higher and brighter light than I prefer. It then becomes essential to have the capability to place a diffusion screen between the light source and my subject, which for me is most often the sun.

When I need that sort of diffusion the Photoflex 52” Translucent LiteDisc is a convenient and easy-to-use solution. It is a good size for a variety of subjects, can be mounted on a stand or for my needs, held by an assistant to move as and where needed.

For this reason and because I do a lot of work in the Equestrian world, when working with horses and models, I like the fact the 52” Photoflex diffusion disc can be held by an assistant. It works for large and small subjects, and I also like that the malleable circular frame can be used to adjust the diffusion effect by bending and flexing the disk to slightly modify the way the light strikes my subjects.

Take a look at example # 1. For this shot of a model next to a horse, I had an assistant holding a 52” diffusor high and off to camera-right. The light was already slightly diffused but for the kind of final image I was seeking, I wanted to soften it even more around her face.

Remember that diffused light is a softer light and is particularly flattering when photographing women. In this instance, it was more important that the light be on her face than the horse’s head and I made certain my assistant molded the diffusion in the right place, which I could then enhance in post production.

While the equestrian photography is a key element of my business, it is not the only aspect. Example # 2 was taken during a fashion shoot in Dubai. The sun gets high and bright in that part of the world quickly. You can see by the shadows in the image that my light was higher but when I placed the 52” diffusor over my subjects head and off camera-right, the image was softened beautifully making for a dramatic shot.

On that same day but later in the afternoon, the sun was striking the models face with too much contrast. To adjust for this I placed the diffusion panel high and above camera-right to soften the light striking her face.

Another area where I find a diffusion screen helpful is for floral shots. No matter the direction or the source of the light, the diffusion effect works just the same, in terms of how molding shaping the diffusor can change the effect of the diffusion.

In summary, if you like to work with a soft light but need to shoot in the bright light of the day, the Photoflex 52” Translucent LiteDisc offers a excellent solution to soften and shape light for dramatic effect.

As a creative artist, Scott Trees strives to bring the extraordinary out of the ordinary, not just in his work but his life. This philosophy has served him well, and in the world of International Equestrian photography and video production, Scott has received prominent recognition. Noted for the emotional, tactile and expressive quality of his images, Scott’s dramatic style is unique in the Equestrian world. In addition, his talent and experience have been commissioned for a variety of commercial, editorial and advertising assignments published worldwide in books and magazines. When not on the road working, Scott lives in Ft. Worth Texas. Check out more of his images here:

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