Wide Format Equine Fine Art Print

Quick edit done with photos from a shoot at Ridge Brook Farms in Argyle, NY last month.

Interested in one of for your own horse? Contact us through email at info@cinderhawkcreative.com.

 

© 2014 Cinderhawk Creative | All Rights Reserved
© 2014 Cinderhawk Creative | All Rights Reserved

6 Quick Tips For Cleaning Your DSLR Camera

Camera Cleaning

1. Invest in a cleaning kit

DSLR cleaning kits can be found relatively cheap on Amazon.com, and because they are not highly technical in nature, buying an off-brand is usually acceptable. This one should suffice.

2. Clean all your gear at once

Cleaning all your bodies and lenses at once will save you time, and will ensure a freshly cleaned body is not being recontaminated when a dirty lens is attached.

3. Bodies and lenses down!

Always clean camera bodies with the lens mount facing down, and always clean your lenses with the rear glass aimed downward as well. This will prevent dust and debris from falling into the mechanism and potentially causing problems in the future.

4. NEVER touch the sensor

The sensor of your DSLR is equivalent to your own optic nerve. Don’t poke, prod, brush or otherwise come into contact with it. If there are spots on the sensor, try to remove them with an air puffer first. If they don’t come off, send your camera to a qualified service technician to have it professionally serviced in a dust-free environment. It’s worth the extra cost to ensure your camera can still see when all is said and done!

5. Use lint-free cloths to clean glass

I once read an article suggesting I use a tissue to wipe my lenses clear. I swiftly decided against this, since the amount of lint they leave behind is infuriating. Lint particles on a lens can cause shadows, spots and focusing issues, which could cost you that perfect shot. Also be sure you are using an appropriate lens cleaning solution as well.

6. Utilize lens and body caps

Even a camera housed in a bag can fall victim to dust if the lens is left attached. Zoom lenses in particular are prone to sucking in dust and debris since the act of zooming itself creates a vacuum inside the barrel. This dust can then fall into the camera body during transport. Keep both the front and rear caps on your lenses, as well as the body cap on the camera, and if you want to be extra safe, use an additional bag around each piece of equipment within the main bag. I have been shooting in dusty indoor riding arenas for years, and precautions like these can mean the difference between a camera that lasts and one that seizes up.

Best of the 2013 Show Season

It’s finally here! Check out this video showcasing some of our best shots of the 2013 show season. In total we traveled to 17 events, in three different states, in a Jeep with almost 200,000 miles, and lived in our $400 Craigslist-found (and appropriately horsey) Palomino brand pop-up camper. The 2014 season is looking grand, with a lot of business improvements on the way! We hope to see you there!

How Pinterest Can Help Grow Your Horse Business

Pinterest is a bit of a newcomer in today’s social media craze, but since its launch in 2010, Pinterest has garnered an impressive following and has already proven itself a valuable business asset.  With well over 70 million users worldwide, Pinterest is definitely worth investigating if you are a business owner interested in expanding.  While much of what I am going to be writing about in this article can be applied to any small business, the focus here will be on equine businesses in particular.

What is Pinterest?

Wikipedia defines Pinterest as a photo-sharing website that allows users to organize theme-based galleries, or “boards.”  Therefore one of the first things to note about this website is that it is primarily, if not completely, focused on attractive visual displays.  Users can like or “pin” images posted by other users or businesses to certain boards, and follow boards that reflect their interests.

How Can Pinterest Help?

Rubix at Liberty
© 2014 Cinderhawk Creative
Thoroughbred gelding Rubix enjoying the snow.

When it comes to advertising, the horse industry is predominantly sight-based, meaning that a farm cannot advertise using text alone.  Images, particularly photographs, are a must, and as Pinterest focuses entirely on photos and graphics, this makes it an ideal match for equine businesses.  Below are a few specific industry areas that might benefit from a Pinterest account.

Breeding Farms

Have a photographer capture some truly outstanding images of your farm’s newest stallion.  In addition to the basic conformation shots, include some liberty shots as  well.  Once you have your photos, upload a few and pin them to an appropriately labeled board on your Pinterest account, i.e., “Stallions of ABC Farm.”  Attach some info to the photo including the stallion’s name, location, stud fee, and of course, your farm’s own contact information.  This will help search engines find your page and help bring in new clients.

Lesson Farms

If students in your lesson program are attending a high-rated show, ensure you have someone with you that can photograph them in the show ring when they look their best.  At the end of the day, collect all the ribbons, trophies, and any other winnings and capture a nice, well-lit photograph of them all together.  Pin these to your account and make sure everyone knows where your students were and how they did.  Include a link to your stable’s website to make sure potential customers know who trained those winners!

Non-Profits or Rescues

A cute or beautiful photo of a horse that needs a new home can go a long way on Pinterest, provided you let users know the horse is available and how to contact you in the image description.  Pinterest also makes it easy for non-profits to bring attention to fundraisers due to the ease with which they can pin photos of the products they are selling to raise money.  Users browsing Pinterest also spend an average of $100 more than Facebook users and $140 more than Twitter users.

Boarding Facilities

In keeping with the high-quality photo ideal that dominates Pinterest today, boarding facilities can also benefit from this website.  Farm owners can photograph their property and pin these images, along with location information, prices, contact info, and a link to their website in order to direct potential clients to their stables.

Additional Benefits for Horse Businesses

Not convinced?  Check out these last few bits of information to understand how having an account at Pinterest can truly prove beneficial to your equine business.

  • Almost 80% of horse owners in the United States are women, and roughly 70% of Pinterest users are also women (although as it grows, it is finally gaining popularity with men as well).  This means that Pinterest makes it relatively easy for horse-related businesses to reach their target market.
  • Pinterest is extremely friendly to mobile devices.  This means that you can upload and pin from anywhere–even at that A-circuit show between classes.
  • Since its creation in 2010, Pinterest’s web traffic has grown more than 66%.  It also drives more traffic to websites than Twitter, Google+, Youtube, and Linkedin combined.  Because the horse industry thrives in areas that may lack high-speed internet, choosing the network that drives the most internet traffic in the least amount of time is a wise decision.
  • You can pin videos as well as photos.
  • Businesses can set up boards to allow “guest pinners,” meaning that family who bought the star show horse you trained can keep you updated and spread the word about your horse training services!

Have you used Pinterest to promote your business?  How did it work out?  Tell us about it!  Leave a comment or follow this blog, like us on Facebook, or tweet @Cinderhawk.  Happy Pinning!