"The Mentor Within" is a new weekly series from NYIP. Our student advisers will briefly critique a Getty Image, helping our students and photography enthusiasts alike to catch a glimpse inside the mind of a professional working photographer.
This image offers a wonderful glimpse into the mind of a creative photographer. Starting with the composition, the photographer opted to utilize a very low angle, likely lying on the ground while shooting upward towards the sky. His choice of a wide-angle lens works to accentuate the impressive height each horse achieves as it clears the hurdle. It's not a tightly cropped frame and, as a result, the subjects have room to thunder forward under the dynamic sky.
Rather than settling for a traditional exposure in order to show detail in the horses, Crowhurst has instead chosen to silhouette the animals, making the image about shape and form. The jockey and the horse appear as one, revealing the essential bond between the two. They have trained for this moment, and are working as a single unit to overcome the various obstacles. The jockey leans forward to reduce wind drag as the horse fully extends its powerful gait.
In addition to these creative elements, the photographer has also made excellent use of a fast shutter speed. With subjects moving at such speeds, the setting would need to be approximately 1/1000 s to truly freeze their motion. If you look closely, it's possible to see the loose dirt falling from the horses hooves. This type of attention to detail adds a sense of urgency and excitement to the moment.