Camber Sands with Ruby: By Kent Equine Photographer Frog and Field
Last year I did a model call for a beach shoot. Laura and Hayleigh were my willing models and they had a fab shoot at Camber Sands. Now if we rewind a year ago my skills and equipment were a lot different. Still we had a good time, got some lovely pictures and started to build a friendship. I got on really well with both Hayleigh and Laura and we planned another trip.
Fast forward to this summer and Laura won a best turned out prize at a clinic I had previously attended. We’d planned to do a bluebell shoot or perhaps visit Bodium Castle again. However, fate intervened and Ruby ended up needing surgery. As a veterinary nurse Laura knew the perils of anaesthesia for horses and decided to organise a beach trip. As morbid as this sounds she wanted some lasting memories in case the worst was to happen. I was delighted when she asked me to join them.
Trying to slot in a time pre-surgery when we were all free was challenging. So what started out as a group session ended up being just a trio of us. Still this was fine for me as Laura and I had been forming a plan about a picture we both wanted to capture. A horse stood on the beach, appearing to be loose with the sea behind them.
Camber Sands: A plan forms
We all know this is not going to happen naturally and some research was needed. I looked to how others were doing their images and sought the help of fellow equine togs. Eventually a plan had formed. We needed a thin halter, ideally the same colour as Ruby and I needed to sharpen my Photoshop skills. Now although I am still a veterinary nurse I try and spend an hour or two before I leave for work learning and playing around with old images. Finally, I had cracked it and was looking forward to the beach.
Tide times proved challenging and we headed there for about 4pm. Sadly a lot of my friends had gone super early but Laura was keen for some sunsets so we had to adjust timings. Once there I was pleased to see that Laura had pulled out all the stops with her grooming and Ruby looked fantastic. She’d purchased a suitable head collar and also a super long lead rope. I explained to Laura how we were going to stand her and what she needed to do to get out of the way. Treats and a glamour assistant were recruited and after about 40 ‘not quite rights’ we managed to nail the pose. The rest was down to me!
Camber Sands: The fun bit
Important task completed Laura and Hayleigh tacked up and we headed down to have some fun. Last year we were unable to get either of them into the sea, this year we managed to get some cantering in the still water which worked well. Having briefed them about keeping themselves between the sea and I we managed to get a few pictures that were just brilliant. My personal favourite is when Ruby and Laura had a hairy moment a scooted right across me. Sometimes the best shots are unexpected!
Camber Sands: Editing to create something special
Once home I then started the task of firstly editing the images in Lightroom and then beginning the task of ‘photo shopping’ the loose horse shot. This takes time and involves lots of intricate cloning and healing. Eventually I was pleased with the removal of the head collar and then began adding in shadows and highlights. Sometime later I was left with the end result and I have to say I am very pleased with how it turned out!
Here is the before-Straight out of camera (SOOC) and the after
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