Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More draft horses

Following on from my last draft horse post, this is another photograph taken at the cheval de trait, or heavy horse, show in Cressat, France. This was just one of those moments that you hope to capture - a foal with it's eyes closed, with a thoroughly fed-up expression, resting it's chin on the back of another foal as if to say "Can we go home now?". This would make a fun print for a horsey office.
This is a portrait of my own Welsh section D mare, Vaynor Bay Lynn, as she was standing in her paddock. She's about twenty three now, but wearing very well!
For those not familiar with registered Welsh, there are four sections, A-D, A being the smallest ponies, and D a more chunky pony or horse, good for riding and in harness. They are built like a small draft horse and come from a very small bloodline in the Welsh mountains, which makes them very hardy.

These photos are available on a wide range of products, including mugs, mousepads and greetings cards. Every horse lover should have one!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

More horses and ponies

On the subject of horses and ponies, here are some photos from other Zazzlers. I love seeing other people's photos, and the different perspectives they come up with. All of these (including mine!) would make great gifts for horse lovers with Christmas not far away. Many images are available on different products, so be sure to check out each store by clicking on their names.

First, from Welshpixels in Wales UK, a portrait of a chestnut horse on a mug and a postcard of windswept Welsh pony on a cliff top in Wales. Welsh ponies are a hardy breed - we have two Welsh cobs, and when it's snowing, they would rather be outside than in their barn.

From Blayzeink, a peaceful postcard of two horses grazing, with a white picket fence in the foreground, and from Naturesmiles, a sticker with a group of chestnut horses and a cute little skewbald foal.

Two lovely tranquil posters from Bebops, in autumn with colourful leaves and in winter with the light catching the bare trees, both with a horse in the foreground.

From Galind in Poland, a different slant on horses - two posters showing a reenactment of the Polish cavalry. I love the action with the blurred moving horses' legs in the first one.

Some more posters, from Hightonridley in the UK this time, a Dartmoor mare feeding her foal in the Devon moorlands, and a beautiful black and white print showing a close up of a Dartmoor pony with the wind blowing it's mane.

Tlcgraphix has these two atmospheric early morning photos, the first with the sunlight shining through a chestnut horse's mane and tail as it trots along a fence, and a portrait of a big grey horse against a misty background.

Monday, September 6, 2010


There just aren't enough hours in the day. No sooner had I come back from holiday, but there were various local agricultural shows to go to. So, not having sorted through all the holiday shots, now I have dozens of horses to sort through. One of my favourite animals as we have two of them (and no time to ride).
Digital cameras are great, but... Yes, you don't have the cost of film or the wait while sending them off to have them returned cut in the wrong places, or not fixed properly, or using dirty developer, or even someone else's film - yes all of those have happened to me! The downside is, that in one day I took 170 photos (of that about 10 are usable) - that's great, but they all have to be sorted and stored.
Anyway, we managed to combine a draft horse show with an agricultural show all in one day. I won't bore you with the tractors, but here are the horses:
These first two are Breton draft horses, a mare and a foal. They are nearly always chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail. The breed originated in Brittany, but this show was in the centre of France. They are probably the most popular breed in France.
The next two are Ardennes or Ardennais. They are generally roan in colour, or sometimes bay. The tail of the first one was plaited with yellow red and green braid, and had these flowers added - a nice touch! The second is a roan foal which was trotting to catch up with it's mother in the show ring.
Lastly a Percheron, another French breed, colours ranging from light grey to black. I haven't got round to the Percheron foals yet.

In the afternoon, there was a western riding competition at the other show, and I was rather pleased with this - having to shoot through barriers with a hand held zoom lens. This is apparently called calf cutting (no calves were cut in the taking of this photo), which means separating one calf from a group and trying to get it into a pen. Not many people managed it (two, I think). The rider is cropped out, to avoid the necessity for a model release, but I still think it captures the essence of the event.

I do remember someone saying once that photography is easier than art, but at least with art you don't have to worry about: focus, depth of field, shutter speed/movement, what's in the background (especially bright red beer tents!), or if the pose is right. If you draw or paint, you can have your subject in the pose you want, when and where you want. Hmmm, maybe I'll take up painting again :)

As a compromise, I've since made another print from that photo, and with various filters, made it look more like a watercolour sketch. I think it works better like this, but who knows - beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Austria, Germany & Czech Republic

Well, I've just come back from a super holiday touring Austria, Bavaria and the southern Czech Republic. The weather was terrible, but we managed a few sunny days, so time to post a few of my own photos. Even in the rain the mountains are beautiful, and I like the light just after the rain as the sun begins to appear. The first photo is just at that moment, when the cloud is lifting from the valley, and a ray of sunshine just catches the church spire. This is the Kaunertal valley (a tautology, as 'tal' is a valley), in the Tyrol, which runs southwards almost to the Italian border. It's a popular area for skiing, but then, so is most of Austria.
Kaunertal before the sun, but with some lovely fluffy alpine cows.
Several days later, and missing out Kitzbühl, which I haven't uploaded yet, we had the sunshine again. Up in the Salzburg area is equally stunning scenery - it's just a pity you can't print the sound of cow bells! This is Hochkönig, the highest peak in that area though the top of it is in the clouds.
Then we went on to Český Krumlov in the Czech Republic. This is a Unesco world heritage site and is probably the best known town next to Prague. I had been there once before but wanted to go back as I knew it was photogenic. Sadly the weather didn't agree, but we had a few sunny moments.
Leaving Český Krumlov, we passed through the Šumava National Park. The river Vltava which runs through Prague, has it's source in the Šumava, and here it is just beginning to form Lake Lipno, to the west of Český Krumlov.
After stopping at Linz overnight, we had an unplanned stop at Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany after the car broke down. Well worth a stop though. It's better known as a ski resort, but has a beautiful old town. More rain, but we managed to catch a few brief moments of evening sunshine.
I've managed to make a calendar from the Český Krumlov photos, and another one will be on the way soon for Austria. Edit: Latest version of this and other calendars available here.
There, I bet that's the quickest trip you've ever had through anyone's holiday snaps!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

National and State Park t-shirts

Last but by no means least...
In spite of the name, this store is not just t-shirts but a whole range of gifts with superb photos. This is also just one of Teresa's stores, so well worth exploring through the links below. From Teresa:
I have been shooting all of my life - since I was about 10 - started with an old brownie. Over the last 10 years I have really pursued my passion for photography and have traveled alot to shoot. I love shooting landscapes esp. sunrise and sunsets. I started with a Nikon N40 and have worked my way up, I shoot with a Nikon D300 now. I had one class in college in the 80's but have learned the digital world by trial and error.

A few of my favorite shots. The first three were all shot with Nikons. When shooting sunsets/sunrises I bracket under exposing. The last shot was taken from the back of a motorcycle with a canon. I experimented alot with camera angles on this one as I couldn't really see through the viewfinder.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Quotation Corner

These lovely photographs are examples from avisnoelledesigns new store Quotation Corner

I've been an amateur photographer for years now, self-taught...but I keep meaning to take some workshops...one day! I love capturing images from nature, seascapes, landscapes, flowers etc., but really I take pictures of just about anything that captures my eye...architecture, waterdrops on a leaf or flower, animals, whatever grabs my attention.
This is my new store, and I've been pairing images with quotes and it's hard to pick four faves, but here are four I like.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Laura lives in Sibiu, Romania, and says:
Photography is just a hobby but I hope I will be able to purchase all the equipment I want very soon. For now, I use Nikon D5000 with a Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8 G lens. I have also used my friend's Nikon D60 for a year.
I love the "playing with water" poster - just the thing for a hot summer!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Daniele Luciani

Daniele Luciani is an an Italian illustrator, cartoonist, photographer and multimedia designer working and living in Tuscany.
These pics have been taken with Canon Eos400D. I like to experiment, sometimes, with HDR.


Friday, July 30, 2010

English Gardener

English Gardener is an amateur photographer and gardener from just outside London, England. As the name suggests, their store is full of gorgeous floral photos with some landscapes and pondlife as well.