walk on the beach

by Gina
(The Netherlands)

This picture was taken on a beach in the Netherlands, before sunset. I wanted to capture the contrast between the agitated waves and the slow pace of the riders.

My friend and I were sitting behind a dune as the riders went past, and I just took my point-and-shoot and fired a few shots.

I would love to hear your opinions about how the picture could have been improved.

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I went horse riding once. I was just a kid, and on an adventure holiday.

Now the image I had of horses up until that moment was of a loving creature who would do pretty much anything you asked of it for nothing more than a lump of sugar.

On that day I strolled up to my horse and was immediately struck by the size of the thing. Measured in 'hands' they said - perhaps. About 50 of them.

Lucky for me Dobbin (can't remember it's real name) was a gently giant. Very gently, in fact. And also very slow.

Sugar lumps were unavailable so in order to make Dobbin move I had to apply more stick than carrot. A dig in the ribs with my riding spurs was the recommended method.

So I did. A little dig. Nothing. A harder dig. Still nothing. So I really went for it with a powerful dig to the ribs. Dobbin raised his head, had a look around, and then went back to gnawing the bit between his teeth.

It was only when the other horses moved off that Dobbin even considered moving. Off he plodded at a speed that can best be described as glacial. At times I could barely detect any forward movement at all.

After a full hour of going, well, not very far at all actually, time was up. Our instructor told us that our horses were tired and that we needed to 'dis-mount' so that our horses could rest.

Rest! It wasn't as if he had just run the Grand National! So off I got, and wandered back to camp.

From that day I have been convinced that humans should spend less time riding horses and more time photographing them - so well done Gina!

There are a number of elements of Gina's photo that make it a quality shot.

First of all there is some foreground interest - the grasses on the right of the photo. Foreground interest adds depth to a scene. Click to read more on how to use foreground interest.

The second thing that makes this a really nice photo is the clearly defined levels - Sky, then sea, then beach, then grass.

As a general rule when faced with levels like this in a photo it is good practice to give each level an equal share of the picture as it adds balance to the scene.

Here there are four distinct levels so each should ideally have a quarter of the photo each - but the beach is taking up far more than its fair share and the sky barely gets a look-in.

My suggestion would be to lower the lens a bit (to keep the grass in) but elevate the lens too so that a little more sky can be included.

Once you've spotted this sort of imbalance in a photo it's difficult to not notice it every time you look at it - so I hope I haven't spoiled things here, because it is a really nice photo.

Thanks Gina for the submission,

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Your Photo
by: Lori Arnold

Gina, I personally really like this shot very much..the colors, the subject, behind the subject..to me adding a little more of the beach is great because that is what you see from where you were!

I could see adding a bit more of the sky if there were clouds with some interest..but the subject is the horses walking on the beach..I think your depth of field is superb, and this is a great shot!

As a photographer myself, I love looking at the shots here on this site, but rarely comment unless I feel they are compliment worthy. This one is!!

Well done!

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