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photographing from horseback

wildlife safari on horseback

Tips for taking photos from horseback

By The Ant's Experience

Anybody who has ever tried to take a photograph while horse riding will know that it is no easy feat.

At Ant’s Nest and Ant’ Hill Bush Homes, we see our guests often struggling with this “problem” while out on our horseback safari activities. It’s a tricky one. On the one hand, you want to be able to capture your adventures and experiences but on the other hand, you don’t want to spend your entire ride worried about camera equipment or taking a tumble off your steed while being distracted by getting that perfect shot. Unfortunately, there is no absolute solution to this, and photographing from horseback is always going to provide its challenges, however, there are a few things you can do to get it right.

Here are 3 tips for taking photos from horseback:

Tip 1 – Horse and Rider Safety
Safety always comes first. When photographing from horseback, you need to be confident that you are completely in control of your horse and your balance. You need to be able to anticipate and prepare for movements your horse might make while you are retrieving and using your camera. Holding reins, keeping a horse still and operating a camera all at once really takes multi-tasking to a new level.

Tip 2 – Only take what you need
Most places that offer horse riding, including Ants, don’t allow riders to wear backpacks as they could create a potential hazard to the horse and rider. This means storage space is limited to a waist pouch or saddlebag. If you can get away with carrying an iPhone or small point-and-click, this is first prize. Your photos won’t be billboard quality but they’ll do the trick and it means that you don’t have to carry bulky equipment. If you really want to take your DSLR, choose a versatile lens as there won’t be space to store an extra one or time to switch between lenses from your perch on your pony, in mid canter.

Tip 3 – Make sure your camera is secure and accessible
Don’t drop your camera! Not only will it most likely break, but it might spook the horses and could cause an accident. When riding with a camera, make sure that the camera is secured to either you or the saddle either via a strong lanyard or neck strap. Lens caps also need to be secured or ditched altogether. They are too fiddly and easy to drop. Rather keep a soft cloth in the bag to prevent the lens from getting scratched.

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It’s a wonder how anybody has ever managed to get a good photo while horse riding. But it can be done. Just make sure to enjoy the horseback safari experience to its full and don’t miss out on the setting and freedom feeling because you were too preoccupied with getting that shot.[:]