Shuswap Reining Horse Clinic helps study action photography – Salmon Arm Observer

By Noreen Sadiwynk,

Shuswap Photo Arts Club

A family farm in Salmon Arm, where bison are raised, was the recent site of a reining clinic for performance horses.

Instructor Whitney Watson-Wilson, a world-class medalist with a degree in Equine Science in Western Riding (among her many credentials), has many years of experience with rein cow horses. Reining is often described as a Western form of dressage riding. This clinic teaches the horse and rider several skills such as circles, spins and stops, all while the horse is galloping or cantering.

At the clinic, horse and rider had the opportunity to train with a live animal, as shown in the attached photo. We see Whitney on his horse driving the bison calf away from the center of the large arena.

I chose to use my Canon 90D SLR and an 18-135mm 3.5-5.6 zoom. This allowed me to zoom in and out as subjects moved around the arena, keeping them in view at all times.

I used a “continuous focus” setting, so I didn’t have to refocus as they moved or moved away from the camera. Setting my camera to take multiple photos allowed me to take multiple burst photos, which gave me several creative shots for the post-editing process. Keep in mind that choosing a unique camera position can often create more interest or greater impact for your shot. Some of my favorite photos of the horse and bison were taken from ground level. However, one of my biggest challenges was having to shoot through a metal tube fence structure. Imagine staying alert enough to get that unique shot, as the bison and horse galloped around the arena in front of you.

It should be noted that one of the biggest concerns in action photography is initially noticing how much background clutter you will need to avoid. Arrive on the scene early enough to find your location, the one with the best background for your images, while keeping ever-changing lighting conditions in mind.

I used the raw format to allow more freedom in post-editing. To freeze the action and ensure that my photos would be sharp, I selected aperture priority and an ISO sensitivity between 640 and 1000. In post-production, there would only be a few adjustments to be made. , mostly cropping.

At our Shuswap Photo Arts Club meeting, we dedicate time to topics such as action photography, macro, portraiture, night photography and many more. We often invite guest speakers, organize workshops and occasionally organize field trips. The exciting CAPA (Canadian Photographic Art Association) competitions are also open to club members. Join us and decide what type of photographer you are.

Don’t forget to enter your photos at the Salmon Arm Fall Fair this fall. Photos taken with a cell phone are acceptable.

To learn more, visit or email [email protected] Meetings are held the 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month, from September to May.

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