White Horses of the Camargue Photography – A Minimalist Approach

A silhouette of a rearing stallion photographed during the NaturesLens White Horses of the Camargue Photography Holiday

I led our Wild White Horses of the Camargue photography holiday back in September 2018. This is one trip where big lenses are not required. In fact, the combination of a wide angle lens coupled with a mid-zoom lens such as a 70-200mm or a 100-400mm is perfect.

I had packed my 16-35mm & 70-200mm, but at the last minute, I decided to ditch both lenses in favour of my Canon EF 28-300mm f3.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens. I bought this lens back in 2010 because I hated changing lenses & wanted something that would give me a wide range of focal lengths.
The Canon EF 28-300mm f3.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens is known as Canon’s travel lens due to its incredible flexibility, but it wasn’t popular due to its weight & the fact that it was a push/pull zoom. I am a huge fan of the push/pull zoom; in fact, my go to lens was the original Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens before I (reluctantly) upgraded to the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Telephoto Lens. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about the original 100-400mm, but I never experienced any of the issues described with my lens so I guess I must have been the lucky owner of one of the few good ones.
I found it incredibly liberating travelling so light & throughout the trip, I fell in love with the Canon EF 28-300mm all over again. In my opinion, this lens is even more versatile than the Canon EF 100-400mm since it covers most of the most commonly used focal lengths in a single lens & with an aperture of f/3.5 at 28mm, it also works very well as a non-dedicated macro lens. And let’s not forget the enormous advantage of not having to change lenses in the middle of a photo shoot!
The Canon EF 28-300mm Lens turned out to be the perfect lens for this White Horses of the Camargue photography trip. I was able to capture clean shots of the horses at 300mm, as they ran towards us in the salt marshes & the sea before they kicked up too much spray. The push/pull system allowed me to easily adjust my focal length right back up to 28mm as the horses ran past us.
Having this flexibility also proved to be extremely useful during our special portrait session where the group had the opportunity to photograph a black stallion & a white stallion in natural light against a clean, moody backdrop. I was able to zoom in for tight headshots & zoom out to capture action shots of the horses running or rearing up on their hind legs.
Some of my favourite shots from this fantastic trip were taken at 28mm; such as the horses running through the woods & the white horses standing in the lagoon under a clear blue sky. Not having to change lenses made it so much easier for me to experiment a lot more with varying focal lengths.
My favourite shot was taken during the beach session just as the sun was setting. For those of you who are interested, the settings for the image below are ISO 1600 | f/9 | 1/320s | 0ev | 40mm.
Our White Horses of the Camargue photography trip was action packed with so many photographic opportunities on the beach, in the dunes, in salt marshes & of course, our exclusive portrait session. I can’t help but smile when I think back to this trip where I packed more shoes than camera lenses!
For those of you who are interested in buying this lens, it is worth noting that you cannot use the 28-300mm with converters. However, if you want to travel light, this lens is absolutely perfect!
Serge Krouglikoff will be leading our 2019 Wild White Horses of the Camargue Photography Holiday. If you would like to join him, you can find more details about the trip by clicking here.

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