Hobbies Include Supporting Friends and Taking Photos (A Gratuitous Eye Candy Post)

Jan and Penn at Loch Moy in June.
Earlier this year I realized I hadn't used my DSLR camera in a long time. It's almost 10 years old, and its age is making it a bit difficult to use. That said, I told myself I couldn't justify an upgrade if I didn't get out there and start using the camera I have right now.
A fuzzy tendency in the lens focusing, poor shutter speed, and massive fall off in low light quality top the list of issues.
A friend tackles the first element of the Prelim water complex at Surefire Farm in Virginia in June.
There's really no reason for me not to be using it, despite its issues. There's a lot more than equipment that goes into taking decent photographs, after all. I could work on improving my timing and editing skills with my current camera while I save up to afford a newer and faster version.
Timing is just as important in dressage photos as in jumping ones!
Plus, I have a ton of friends who show regularly and enjoy having nice photos of their horses. I have a ton of opportunities to practice shooting, and I'm trying to take advantage!
I know Emma loves it when I can capture Charlie's lovely face!
While I'm researching upgrade options I can actually afford (ha), I'm also enjoying capturing the nuances of my own animals faces. Lyra is such a expressive little dog. It's been fun to take her exploring in D.C. to see what kinds of shots we can get.
Lyra in front of the Heurich House garden gate in Dupont Circle, D.C.
My eye is definitely better at composing portraits, though part of that is the limitations of my equipment. I can't lie, though. I am no professional. Most of my shots come more through happy accident than planned set up.
A friend's gorgeous dressage mare at a recent Loch Moy outing.
I've been around the business for a long time, though. And my editing skills are slowly coming back to me. I know with more practice I can improve my timing and editing back to previous levels (or better!).
That same mare strutting her fabulous stuff.
All the photos from the last month are already helping me remember my eye and retrain my shutter button trigger finger.
Whee! Go friend! Eat that Prelim water!
There's other benefits to taking photos a lot. Probably the biggest one is the awesome messages from friends when I share pictures with them.
Though, I think Jan had more fun galloping Penn than looking at the photo of them motoring along. It's a good memory!
My Instagram game is getting stronger too. Validation is fun, yeah?
My friend in the "sandbox" at Surefire. Such a gorgeous facility!
I'm so serious about horses, it's kind of fun to have a hobby where I can embrace my amateur status fully. I like getting better, but don't beat myself up about stupid mistakes, poor exposure decisions, or bad framing choices. It's liberating in a way to feel so free to make mistakes. I'm not competing with show photographers or pros, after all. There's no way I could (nor do I want to!). I play with photos just for me... and to torture Lyra. That's all photography ever needs to be for me.
Lyra watches fat pigeons play in front of the Embassies of Algeria and Macedonia in the Kalorama neighborhood of D.C.
Do you guys have anything you play with as a hobby outside of horses? Do you find it liberating, too?


  1. ooooh i didn't know she moved up to prelim - that's awesome!!

    also tho, more closely related to the subject at hand, i love your photos so much. legitimately some of my all time favorites of me and izzy are by you - and the shots you got of me and charlie at loch moy just bring so much joy and happiness :D you're welcome to 'practice' your skill on us any time!!!

    re: my own 'hobby' outside of horses? probably working on ill-conceived DIY projects in the back seat of speeding vehicles on the way to beer breweries. bc obvi.

    1. Always happy to photo you and Charles! Hopefully next time we'll have better weather so I won't be fighting the super low light of stormy weather! :)

  2. Biking. Climbing. Photography. DIYing. Homesteading. Oh the things... I've lately been telling myself NO when I find new hobbies. Too many, Liz, QUIT.

    1. Yeah, girl. You need to pick up napping or some shit as a hobby. ;)

  3. I've had so many hobbies but I've narrowed it down to pretty much just the horse thing right now although I still occasionally knit or do some sort of craft project. It was just getting to be too much with some of my other more work-intensive hobbies.

  4. I love all your photos! And i love your expressive to the max dog! :) (Horse not bad either:)) Great photos and I think it is more than a hobby you are good if that is 'rusty' photography skills LOL!

    I don't really have any hobbies. Besides horses and dogs. :) OH tho now blogging is a HUGE hobby :)

  5. I LOVE your photos! You have such a great eye for a good shot and happy expressions from animals and humans. :) Horses are kinda it for me, though I do love to cook and bird watch when I have the time! #oldlady

  6. I have to get my camera back out and take some photos. I am an amateur and have no wish to relinquish that stuts! i also write for a local horse magazine.

  7. Glad you are taking pics again <3


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