By Mick Jensen
Ashburton College Year 13 student Brittany Fowler is combining her passions for equestrian and photography and has just returned from the Land Rover Horse of The Year show where she was an official photographer.
Brittany snapped 3368 photos at New Zealand’s premier equestrian competition and is one of the event’s youngest ever official photographers.
She said attending Horse of The Year had been a great experience.
“It was great to meet and work alongside well known North Island photographers.
“I did work long hours, waking up at 7am and working until around 6.30pm each day, with only a 30 minute break in between, but it was worth it.”
Sorting and editing had kept her up until 3am some days as well.
The 17-year-old remembers snapping her first photograph of a sunset six years ago and has been photographing equestrian and other subjects since.
“Horses have always been a big part of my life.
“I started riding when I was eight and got my first horse at the end of 2013.
“I’ve been competing since the age of nine and in all disciplines, including dressage, showjumping, eventing and showing.”
This season her focus had been on eventing, she said.
In recent months Brittany has also taken horse photos at the South Island Premier Championships Show, NZ Show Horse Council and South Island Welsh Show.
With that experience behind her, she was invited by a showing friend to cover Horse of The Year and jumped at the opportunity.
Good equestrian photos needed the right light and bright sunny days usually worked well, said Brittany.
Having a clear background so the photo wasn’t distracting, and a focus solely on the horse and rider or handler, was also important.
She also looked for the right amount of space around the outside of the picture, more space at the top, less on the bottom and depending which way the horse was facing, there needed to be space in front and less behind.
Brittany Fowler is currently catching up on school work after completing her dream photography assignment and after a busy few weeks.
She is looking to study agricultural science at Lincoln University next year.