Last weekend I got to go on a drive through central Texas. This area is famous for wildflower displays so I kept a sharp lookout for nice scenes to photograph. As usual, the sky was not being very cooperative, but I tried to make it work anyway. Probably an hour before sunset I caught sight of some horses in a pasture with a lot of wildflowers, so I turned around and went back to the place. I grabbed my camera and had to make my way through some bushes and branches to get a vantage point to photograph the horses through a barbed wire fence.
The image below has a horse with wildflowers in the foreground and background. The trees made a good background and I shot around some areas of dirt and disturbed ground. As you can see, the sky was overcast and gray and I didn’t have any direct sunlight.
This image was hand-held, 55mm, 1/60s and I was underexposing a bit to try to keep the sky from clipping. I didn’t see much evidence of motion blur due to hand-holding in this image and I think that it turned out well, though probably not a framer.
A bit farther down the road and I came across some horses, a pond, and wildflowers, so I had to pull over and see what I could get. The sun was getting a bit lower and it looked like it might start peaking out of the clouds which made exposure even tougher. I did try to underexpose a bit in hopes of rescuing shadow detail later in Lightroom.
I never did get any direct sunlight on the horses, but I did get to work on some reflections in the pond, which turned out well enough. The pictures aren’t tack-sharp and there is some noisiness that I tried to deal with in Lightroom.
In the below pictures, I managed to get four horses in the scene (with none of them pooping) among the wildflowers and near the pond. There is also some definition in the sky with some rays of sunlight.
I didn’t take as much time as I would have liked to work on these pictures as I was on the side of a highway with kids in the car and I was a bit nervous about that. I think if I had it to do over again, I would work on the exposure a bit as this was a heavily contrasted scene with the bright sky compared to the horses and flowers. I am also limited by where I can stand next to a barbed-wire fence as I am not going to trespass on a rancher’s land for photos.
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