The Anni’s Looking Glass family has recently grown – a new camera has moved into the house! I am happy to report, she has settled in well, was familiarised with all my lenses (and by that I mean the equipment has undergone re-calibration) and has been on her first little adventure with me.
I initially had high hopes in the newly released Canon Eos 6D Mark ii, but after many late nights spent researching this model, I was not convinced. I opted for its older sister, the Canon Eos 6D, a camera that I am very familiar with after regularly using it for my work at Loughborough University in the past.
Whenever I get a new piece of equipment, I just want to rip the package open like a kid on Christmas and start shooting. Unfortunately, it does not quite work like that. While one could of course start shooting right out of the box, us professionals need our equipment to be the most reliable it can be, so we spend a good amount of time fine tuning all lenses to the camera body to make sure the autofocus hits in the right spot. After I have done this, I shoot a few real-life tests and only then I unleash my new equipment on my clients.
Contrary to widespread belief, us photographers don't usually have millions of wonderful images of our own families and furbabies. I photographed Vanity and my other half plenty when I was practicing before establishing Anni’s Looking Glass, but I have rarely had my little one in front of the lens since. So this test came in handy to document how much she has grown up since spring and also take a few shots of her special equine friend.
After she arrived with us in March, it took Vanity a while to settle into the herd – she had never lived with strangers before, only with her sisters that she had known since little. Late in the summer, however, she made a friend that has helped her tremendously. I can tell she finally feels at home now. Vanity and Flea have been inseparable since and he is incredibly protective of her.
We have referred to them as our own equine version of Lady and the Tramp. Not only are their names somewhat reminiscent, but while Vanity is a spoilt only horse, Flea has a very complex ownership background. That means he has been left untouched since his last human carer sadly passed away a little over a year ago. His long mane has for the largest part become victim to knots or ripped out and his fur is in desperate want of a brush. Yet he is still one of the most beautiful horses I know - inside and out! He has such a gentle soul and I’m absolutely in love with his markings, something that I wanted to reflect in a portrait.
Vanity did not disappoint either – she has certainly upped her modelling game since our first attempt almost six months ago. I have also finally found the one thing that turns her ears towards me [not to mention the whole herd that was suddenly peaking over my shoulder, too]: My new horse-whinny-app on the phone [Horse Sounds for Android]. At this point I must thank a number of my fellow equine photographers for their recommendations.
And my new camera - what can I say? It has passed the test with flying colours! I was asking a lot of it when I decided to photograph in the woods just before sunset with the light almost gone. I would not schedule a shoot under these conditions - at least not without bringing an off camera flash along. I wanted to see how far I could push my new equipment though and I am pleasantly surprised!