Wild White Horses in the surf of the Camargue beaches

Wild white horses in the surf typical of the type of image that may be captured during the NaturesLens Wild White Horses of the Camargue Photography Holiday

Is there anything more evocative than the image of a herd of wild white horses in the surf? For me, it brings back memories of that iconic scene in the Lord of the Rings when Arwen summons the river horses. Quite appropriate when you consider that the Camargue horses are also known as “the horse of the sea”. They are not shod and their broad hooves are evolutionary adaptions to their wet environment.

These magnificent horses represent one of the oldest breeds in the world. It is believed that they are descended from the prehistoric horses which lived during the Paleolithic period around 17,000 years ago. Unbelievably, despite being an ancient species, the Camargue horses were only officially recognized as a breed in 1967.

You don’t need a long lens to photograph the white horses running in the surf or along the water’s edge. In fact, the longest lens you need for this trip is a 70-200mm!

Wild white horses in the surf typical of the type of image that may be captured during the NaturesLens Wild White Horses of the Camargue Photography HolidayA lone white horse emerges from the surf typical of the type of image that may be captured during the NaturesLens Wild White Horses of the Camargue Photography Holiday Continue reading

Wild White Horses at sunset in the Camargue

A perfect reflection of white horses walking in single file at sunset typical of the type of image that may be captured during the NaturesLens Wild White Horses of the Camargue Photography Holiday

Wild white horses at sunset have long been a popular romantic image. Our tour to the Camargue offers so many different opportunities from exciting action to intimate portraits; from high key images to gorgeous sunset colours (weather permitting!)

The essential thing to remember when photographing at sunset is not to go anywhere. Just when you think that the best colours are over, sometimes, they are just beginning, so keep that camera handy until the light is truly gone. There is often a pause of several minutes where all the colours fade from the sky only for incredible intense colours to return as the sinking sun lights up the clouds that are higher in the sky.

If we are lucky, we may even get some reflection shots. When composing for your reflection shot, make sure that the top of your subject is not cut off at the bottom of your frame. Also, remember to shoot low. Getting down close to the ground can reveal reflected colours that are not visible when you are standing up.

During each of our sessions with the horses, there will be several Gardians on hand to herd the horses. They will skilfully drive the horses towards our cameras, giving us the very best possibilities for some fantastic photography.

wild white horses at sunset typical of the type of image that may be captured during the NaturesLens Wild White Horses of the Camargue Photography Holiday Continue reading

Wild White Horses of the Camargue in monochrome

Portrait of fighting stallions typical of the type of image that may be captured during the NaturesLens Wild White Horses of the Camargue Photography Holiday

Earlier this year, I wrote a series of blog posts about the Wild White Horses of the Camargue. I will be heading out to the Camargue on Friday to lead our 2018 trip & thought it would be nice to showcase how these majestic steeds look in monochrome.

We always try to offer something a little bit different from other operators & in this case; we include a unique portrait session. This is an opportunity to photograph a white & a black stallion in a studio-like environment with both natural & studio lighting.

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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.
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10 inspiring images of the White Horses of the Camargue

An inquisitive stallion walks up the beach as photographed during the NaturesLens White Horses of the Camargue Photography Holiday

I wanted to share more images from our White Horses of the Camargue photography trip in September 2018 to give everyone an idea of the sort of photographic opportunities available. You’ll notice that I haven’t included any images of the frenzy of white horses running towards you with water splashing everywhere. The point of this blog post is to demonstrate what else can be achieved.

A group shot of these stunning horses is a definite must-have. The reflection shot was taken at sunrise using a Canon 1Dx Mk 2 & Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM at ISO 640, f/7.1, 1/250s, -1ev at 80mm. As the horses started to move towards us, I changed settings because I wanted a tight group shot. For those of you interested in my settings, this shot was taken at ISO 1000, f/8, 1/500s, 0ev at 300mm.
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