I often write about how the photos on here are taken in moments of unplanned serendipity, and to a certain degree this one was too. But part of this was, while not exactly planned, certainly intentional. First, a bit of background: Several times a year my wife and I take our kids to the OSU Equestrian shows as a fun way to get out and see some talented young performers compete against rival teams from around the country in a sport that doesn’t get nearly the same amount of attention of football, basketball, or anything that ends with the suffix -ball. When we went out a few weeks ago I brought my D7100 + 50mm to take some snapshots, but also to try and get a photo like this. I had a vision in mind for the type of picture I wanted to get: cowboy boots on a fence with some horses in the background. I didn’t exactly plan on taking a shot of my kid and our friend’s daughter, but when I saw the two of them on this fence looking out at the competitors I could hardly resist the urge to start clicking away on my camera.

I only took a half dozen shots, mostly because kids are fast and rarely stay in one place for long. And, as I found out, neither do horses. I was really hoping to get a picture with some activity in the background to give a bit of context to the onlookers, and as luck would have it one of the riders was maneuvering her horse in just the right spot for me to take this photo. A half second later the horse was behind the fence post, and then out of the frame entirely–as were the kids, since they soon became more interested in jumping off the fence and seeing who could get the most distance.

On my last post I emphasized the importance of understanding fundamentals of photography such as composition and framing, and practicing them whenever possible. This shot, to me anyway, represents why these basic elements are so important. I was able to unconsciously construct the photo I was hoping to get, simply because I went into the situation knowing things like what aperture, ISO, and shutter speed to use (f/2.8 to get some depth of field, ISO 100 because there was a ton of daylight, and a super fast shutter to freeze the motion). But more than that I knew that I had to kneel down, move around, and wait for the right moment to get the shot I was looking for. I don’t say this to heap praise upon myself (far from it, to be honest) but as an illustration of why the fundamentals are so important: so that you know how to do what you need to when the moment strikes.

Finally, I suppose it’s fitting that this photo marks two years of me doing Weekly Fifty. If I go back and look at some of my earlier pictures, it’s clear that I often had no clue what I was doing and certainly very little sense of composition, framing, emotion, storytelling, or even the basics of exposure. I did this blog as a way to explore the Lord’s creation through my camera lens, but also to force myself to learn the craft of photography. This picture, in a small way, serves as a landmark to show me how much I really have learned but also just how much more there is to know.

Here’s to a fantastic journey, and many more years to come…


  1. I really appreciate your website and efforts around exploring the possibilities of the 50mm lens. You have inspired me to do the same. I am learning and appreciating how the great shots begins in the mind first. Thanks.

    • Thanks, Mike. Sometimes it’s a bit constraining doing this blog with only one lens, but I have learned so much about photography by doing this. If you have an online site where you post your 50mm photos I’d enjoy seeing them!

  2. Great Picture! The title is perfect and so are the subjects.

  3. Cute picture! Thanks for sharing. I also appreciate the joy of seeing how practice and planning result in shots like the one above. Such a satisfying feeling that encourages you to keep clicking away.

    I also like the vibrant colors on this one that reinforce the mood you are capturing. Good job!

    • Thank you, Dave! It’s a nice feeling when all the shots where you’re just working on the basics finally come together to capture that one photo you’ve always wanted.

  4. Martin Cordina says


    Firstly, congrats on your two year anniversary. I have been following you for quite some time and wish you continued success in all of your future endeavours. You are an inspiration to us “budding” photographers. I have been at this for fifty years and am still learning. I also have a D7100 and was so glad to see the results of your latest shoot with your son. You hit the nail on the head on that one.

    Once again, thanks for your blog and insight into our wonderful hobby.

    Best regards,

    • Martin, that is very nice of you to say and I want you to know how much I appreciate it. I remember a few years ago thinking I knew everything there was to know after fiddling with my DSLR for a week. Now the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know!

      People like you are an incredible inspiration to me as well. I hope that after 50 years I’m still going out and finding new things to shoot. Keep up the good work man, and don’t ever put that D7100 down :)

  5. First things first… congratulation with your two year anniversary Simon and keep those post coming in the future, cause I’m looking forward to it every week. :-)

    I rely love this photo the dog is just spot on… not to much and not to little. :-)

    It funny you mention that you have turned of the preeviwe on the back. I did that to, when I shot this this post, and I realized hat I felt much more sure of what I did, with that turned of. Since then, I haven had it turned on. :-D

    • I like what you said about feeling more sure of what you did: you’re spot on with that, Catarina! I used to worry all the time about whether I got the right shot, and would constantly peek at the back screen to double check. But ever since I disabled the auto-preview I have felt a growing sense of confidence in my abilities to get things right. It’s helped me trust my knowledge of focal length and aperture to know I’m getting the shot I want instead of looking at that screen all the time.

      That’s a gorgeous shot of the night sky, by the way. I’ve never shot anything like that before, but now I really want to try :)

  6. Christina Venturini says

    Thank you for sharing! I love this photo. You are absolutely right about children… I, too, tend to photograph them in their natural state which is running around and in constant motion :)

    I serendipitously came upon your blog and have been following you ever since. I look forward to your post each week and it is always so refreshing.

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