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featured photo story: September 2000

This picture was taken earlier this summer whilst trekking on horseback over the sand dunes at Dunfanaghy. The camera was an old (1940's?) folding Ikonta, medium-format 2 1/4" square. We headed out over the water and the bright sun was thrown back into the horse's flank to bring the warm chestnut tones to life.

Movement is introduced through a slow shutter. I was using a hyperfocal focusing technique - to avoid having to make precise focusing adjustments when working in fast demanding conditions, you choose a small aperture for maximum depth-of-field, and focus on the hyperfocal distance, or the closest distance at which infinity will still be sharp at your working aperture. Motion blur was desirable to me, as the whole setting - powerful horse, bright water, wind and sea air, was highly energetic. By using the hyperfocal technique, I maximised my depth-of-field, minimising my optical blur yet allowing some motion blur, as I felt a sharp image would be sterile for this subject.

Using the hyperfocal technique whilst on horseback had the other advantage of helping me to concentrate on the horse, which was a good idea in my case, this being my first time riding...