Photo Tips with Ross Hecox

In late January, Remuda herd leader Kate Bradley Byars traveled to Montana with Western Horseman Editor-in-Chief Ross Hecox. During some down time one morning, Ross was kind enough to discuss the use of flash and how it benefits portraits. Here is his expert advice, just for you! 

Additionally, Ross shared some insight and examples. 

"Off-camera flash is an important skill for any photographer to have," he says. "When the light and backdrop is ideal, there is no need for flash. But we all run into situations where the lighting is poor and the setting isn’t very scenic, but we still have to come away with a good photograph. Off-camera flash helps us do that." 

Here are a few examples.

 This portrait of Justin Thorson, saddle maker, is flat without flash. 

This portrait of Justin Thorson, saddle maker, is flat without flash. 

The photos of Justin Thorson show with flash below) and without flash (above). "See how the lighting in his face is much better in 21, and he stands out more from the cluttered background," Ross explains. 

 Here, Ross used flash to brighten the image. 

Here, Ross used flash to brighten the image. 

"In the portrait of Rosie Lloyd, below, I used flash because it was a very dark, gray, rainy day. Using flash put catch-light in her eyes and in her horse’s," he says. "Plus, it made her purple shirt much more vibrant."

Ross Hecox is the editor-in-chief of Western Horseman magazine. For more information on the magazine, visit western horseman.com

Abigail Boatwright