Nilmini De Silva  


HORSE LISTENER by Nilmini De Silva

July 2021 - HORSE LISTENER

About the Image(s)


It was a joy to spend time on a with Tom Britten of Lighthorse Experiences. Tom provides a variety services on a property in Martinsville that helps both kids and adults develop self awareness, regulate emotions, focus and engage in clear communication through learning to interact and develop trust with the horses on the property. Tom explains that horses are herd animals and respond to our nervous system states. Their safety and flourishing depends on an interdependence with the rest of their herd and their human companions. From watching and listening to Tom I know there is much we can learn from developing a relationship with horses.

Martinsville is about an hour north of where I live in Northern Sydney. We went up to this area over the Queen’s birthday weekend this month. Martinsville is where Tom lives and works. His connection to horses is amazing and I really wanted to capture that. In the fast paced lives many of us lead today, we often forget to find time to just be, and completely immerse in the natural environment that we are a part of. During the shoot Tom went about his normal activities. I chose to use my Canon R6 and my RF 24-105mm F4 lens this time. Tom and the horses were constantly moving so I decided to shoot on Manual as I wanted to ensure a high shutter speed. I chose 1/640 secs and an aperture of 5.6 and zoomed into this image with a focal length of 50mm. I knew that although my distance from Tom was constantly changing, even at a distance of 4m, I was able to get sufficient depth of field—in this instance > 2m. I use an app called PhotoPills to check my depth of field. It is a great little app for lots of other things like checking on times for the Blue and Golden Hour. When I check my results, the algorithm has calculated an ISO of 640, which is fine with this camera. There is no visible noise in the image. I haven’t done too much in post except my usual Lightroom edits to try a few different profiles and lens corrections. I have then brought the image


This round’s discussion is now closed!
10 comments posted




Bev Caine   Bev Caine
Not only did you provide us with a lovely image, but I appreciate all the information that you included. As administrators, we are constantly reminded to encourage our group members to provide history, etc. and most often it falls on deaf ears So, thank you so much for all of the info it is appreciated by all who view these images.   Posted: 07/04/2021 20:20:15
Nilmini De Silva   Nilmini De Silva
Thanks Bev. It's good to know it is useful   Posted: 07/05/2021 17:35:10



Margaret Sprott   Margaret Sprott
A great shot and your explanation about this place helps me understand how and why some of my friends get so attached to their horses. You can tell they are "communicating" which is great. I guess if Tom's eyes were open, it would not be so obvious.   Posted: 07/05/2021 09:00:26
Nilmini De Silva   Nilmini De Silva
Thanks Margaret and I do agree although I find that sometimes judges are just not partial to a portrait where the eyes are closed. I picked this image from many others because I was keen to see if it resonated with the group.   Posted: 07/05/2021 17:46:09



Mary Walsh   Mary Walsh
Nilmini, What a beautiful shot! I really enjoyed reading your description. You captured a special moment between Tom and the horse. Thank you for the additional information about how you used PhotoPills. I have been thinking of getting the app. Now that I read your explanation, I'm anxious to try it.   Posted: 07/05/2021 10:28:22
Nilmini De Silva   Nilmini De Silva
Thanks Mary. PhotoPills is a wonderful app, not just for DOF but for planning sunrises/sunsets and astro shoots. I couldn't recommend it more. There is a lot in it to discover but the guys you developed it share a lot of videos and as well as pdfs with great info.   Posted: 07/05/2021 17:47:29



Lloyd Delaney   Lloyd Delaney
This is very well done. I like that the man's eyes are downcast, it feels respectful.   Posted: 07/05/2021 22:02:01
Nilmini De Silva   Nilmini De Silva
Thanks Lloyd. Much appreciated   Posted: 07/06/2021 18:27:25



Jamie Federick   Jamie Federick
What a neat story and photo capture. I think with Tom's eyes downcast, it makes his horse more the subject. I might have tried to lighten the horses eye if possible. Lovely image!   Posted: 07/06/2021 10:21:52
Nilmini De Silva   Nilmini De Silva
Thanks Jamie. Good point. I'll do that.   Posted: 07/06/2021 18:28:03