The Equine Photographers' Network Newsletter

In This Issue

Preparing for the Olympics
EPNet and Courtney King
Saratoga Seminar with Gabriele Boiselle
Molly the Pony
Fall Members' Retreat
Sponsor Spotlight: PhotoStock Plus
EPNet Trial & Photog Request
Call for Entries
Help the Special Olympics
Summer Solstice Project
New Photo of the Week

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Call for Entries:
Ex Arte Equinus II, International Juried Equine Art Competition Presented by Art Horse Magazine, the journal of History, Art, and Horses, this competition will provide equine artists the opportunity to show their work on an international level. Images of winning artwork will be published in issue #8 of Art Horse Magazine, published March 2009.

Deadline: Oct. 25, 2008
More info: Art Horse Magazine

Special Olympics:
Can you help Stable Movements with your used Western and English Show clothing? Stable Movements, Inc. a Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Riding center located in Binghamton, NY is sending several students to the Special Olympics in Rochester, NY for the Equestrian Fall Games October 3-5, 2008. They welcome cash donations as well!

More information

Summer Solstice Project
Photographers from all over the world participated in our recent Summer Solstice 24-hour Project.

See some of the top rated photos here:
Summer Solstice Photos

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2008 Summer Olympics Issue
August 2008

Preparing for the Olympic Games
Courtesy Diana DeRosa

This is my sixth Olympic Games and while going to the Olympics can give you a great high it also can be quite overwhelming, first to prepare to go, and then to keep up with the pace when you arrive there.  During the 2 ½ weeks that I will be there we’ll be lucky if we get 4-5 hours sleep per night and often it will be less.

Since I do both the writing and the photography I have double duty, but for this article I’ll focus on preparation - photographically speaking.  Here are some things you need to keep in mind:

• What to bring – how much equipment is enough
• What is the electricity
• Backup for your photos
• Airline requirements
• The conditions you are shooting under
• Being prepared for the weather

There’s more I could focus on but to begin with my goal is to figure out what equipment and how much to bring.  Since most everything has to go in one roller bag and one carry-on I want to be able to get most everything into those bags and pack through whatever I feel is safe to be checked.

Hong Kong (the Equestrian Olympics do not take place in Beijing) is going to be unique in that most of the events will take place at night and while they are telling us there will be television lighting, we still have to be prepared to shoot in low light conditions.  Because of this, I recently purchased Nikon’s D3 which is perfect for this kind of shooting.  My backup camera will be a D2X which I will probably use for most of the candid and presentation/award shots.

For lenses I’m planning to bring a 300 2.8, a 70-200 2.8, 80-400, and 18-200 as my main lenses.  I have an old 50 1.8 which I like to use for up close shots in low light situations. I’ll also be bringing a variety of CF cards, everything from 2GB to 16GB.  My preference is the 4GB cards because I don’t feel as comfortable with the larger cards.

For flash I will be bringing an SB-800 with a Quantum battery pack and extra batteries, as well as plenty of batteries for my cameras and a double charger so that every night when I return to the hotel room all my used batteries will get charged.

Naturally a computer is key and I just purchased Dell’s XPS 1330 with all the bells and whistles.  I did that because experience has told me that getting the job done fast at any major championship may just result in an extra hour or two sleep here and there.   And sleep becomes a big priority when you are shooting all day and then writing, downloading, preparing photos and uploading all night.  So this computer has 4GB Ram, 7200 rpm, a 9500 processor, an ExpressCard slot and more.

Electricity is also an issue and knowing that you have the proper adapter plugs and additional spare plugs is critical because it’s not easy to run out and get what you need in another country especially when you have to be onsite early and work until very late.

As to backup; in addition to bringing two external hard drives to which I will back up and mirror all photos, I also keep them in my computer (which has a 320 GB hard drive) and I’ll bring DVDs and CDs and when time permits will save to those.

For sorting and renaming I use ACDSee and for preparing images I use both ACDSee and Photoshop CS2 but I am considering buying LightRoom before I leave because research has told me it’s the best program out there for preparing photos.

Other thoughts:
• Because Hong Kong is also known for its typhoons and the event is taking place in the middle of the summer we have to be prepared for rain and hot humid conditions which can cause fogging in our equipment.

• With the extra charges by airlines these days we have to be very mindful of what we are bringing as those extra charges can add up quickly The advantage of packing light is it makes travelling easier - not just on the airplane but in cabs or shuttles as well.

Read Diana's Olympic Articles.

EPNet and Courtney King
Courtesy Sharon Packer

When we arrived at the beautiful Sunnyfield/Gleneden farms in Bedford, New York for the EPNet Fall Workshop, I knew about Courtney King’s accomplishments.  She was then 29 years old and had to be tough as nails. After all, she left her Michigan home to pay her own way by cleaning stalls and exercising horses in exchange for training with Lendon Gray at age 15! 
I’m not sure what I expected, but when I saw Courtney ride, I got chills.  My mind flooded with memories of videos I’d seen of the old classical riders like Klemke and Jenson.  I knew I was in the presence of a classical master just waiting for her moment in the dressage world to show that an American girl could teach them quite a lot.

I think all of us left Sunnyfield filled with inspiration, in awe of Courtney’s abilities and her humble, kind nature.  Since the fall of 2007, she successfully campaigned her horses in Europe, the CDI shows in Florida, and qualified for her second World Cup.  We can’t forget that she married Jason Dye, a very handsome man who is as kind-hearted and goal-oriented as she. Though most expected the beloved Idocus to be her chance for a place on the Olympic team, Courtney had a surprise for us.  By the end of June, Courtney had brought along a hot, willful Mythilus to the point that he provided a flawless Freestyle performance in the Olympic finals.  Her combined scores and her full year’s work took Courtney from being a long shot last year to third place on the US Olympic Team 2008.  15 year of sacrifice, work with little rest, financially supporting her dream herself, and having individual supporters, and group supporters like EPNet all culminated in her becoming an Olympic team member.  We are so proud of her!

June Seminar in Saratoga Springs with Gabriele Boiselle
Courtesy Tafra Donberger
Gabriele Boiselle's seminar was a combination of things: entertaining, educational and fun! Gabriele has a passion for equine photography that you can hear when the moment she starts to speak about it. Her frankness and direct way of teaching is helpful and she always makes sure that participants understand what she's talking about.

She shared helpful hints and really stressed the importance of knowing your camera. I learned so much during this seminar, especially photographing horses is not something you pick up a camera and do on the fly. I appreciated Gabriele's wit and direct way of directing us, and being in the field with her was invaluable. The group was very lucky to have Gabriele in the States to give the seminar.

Molly the Pony,
A True Story by Pam Kaster

 A couple years ago I attended a fundraiser for the Louisiana State University School of Veterinarian Medicine.  Two slides of a pony undergoing surgery for a prosthetic limb flashed across the screen.  My immediate reaction was “this would make an amazing children’s picture book.”  Through the surgeon I was able to contact the owner of the pony and so began the adventure of taking pictures of Molly and writing her story.  I drove to Molly’s barn in St. Rose, Louisiana three times to take photographs, and we visited Children’s Hospital in New Orleans and a nearby retirement home.

One of the most difficult aspects of the book was keeping up with all the model releases.  I also used a few photos that I did not take and it was a challenge finding the photographer and securing photo releases.  I am amazed at how quickly the book launched courtesy of the Internet.  So far I have been contacted by magazines, internet sites, and newsletters interested in using various images from the book.

I plan to work on a series of children’s picture books about unsung equine heroes.  I’m talking to our local police chief about the mounted police patrol.  However, if you know of a horse that helps improve the public good, I’d love to hear from you. For more information on the book:

EPNet Fall Members' Retreat

Members of EPNet have been invited by Clark Farms to come photograph at their ranch in beautiful south Central Pennsylvania. We will have complete access to the ranch with morning and evening shoots featuring horse drives, cattle drives, creek crossings, cowboys, light rodeo and more.  Betty Cooper will lead us in some sessions in lighting and portraiture. Only a few spots left!

See complete details on the EPNet site.

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