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Riding A Wild Mustang - part 1 of 1 2 3

by Kevin Kubota Published 01/08/2008

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If I had to pick a "signature" image, I guess this would be it. I created this image a few years ago and when potential clients see it on my wall I often get requests to do something similar for their wedding. I also get a lot of requests to show how to do this at my workshops, and we often will recreate the image with our models - using my own vintage '65 red convertible mustang. I tell my students that this one shot has been worth thousands of dollars to me because of the weddings I seem to have booked, or the exposure I've had, because of it! I think people love this image because it symbolizes the wild, carefree, romantic dreams that they all have - like riding a wild horse, through the fields, with wind in your hair.

Don't Try This at Home.

I originally captured this image at a wedding, while the bride, groom, and myself were walking back to the reception - having just finished our portraits together. I saw this beautiful convertible Mustang sitting in the parking area and out of curiosity asked the groom if he knew the owner of the gorgeous auto. "Oh, yeah, it's my dads." he said, "I used to beg him to let me drive it when I was a kid." "Whoa!", I said (because that's what you say when encountering a wild Mustang) "That's your dads? Do you think he'd let you take it for a spin now? We could do some great images in it!" He loved the idea and within minutes we were saddled up for our ride. Lesson #1, It Pays to Ask. Lesson #2, Don't Tell Anyone That I Suggested You Replicate This Shot! It's dangerous and irresponsible. But, for educational sake, here's what I did:


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1 Plan your ride.

To create an image like this, you don't want to spend any more time than necessary sitting on the back of a moving vehicle, so plan your shots wisely. Discuss with the driver exactly where you want to go, how fast, how many passes, and what you'd like them to do while driving. I learned this the hard way. When we took off to do this image, we didn't plan much because I figured I could just shout out directions as we went. Well, with wind in your face at 50 MPH, you can't really do that easily. So,much of my direction was blown to the wind.

It's also important to plan your camera settings that you will use. I suggest planning for a variety of effects to see what you like best. Being able to quickly cycle between your settings and shoot with each of them is important. You don't have much time, and the perfect timing of wind blowing, lips touching, road rushing, and hair posing will be brief and elusive.


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1st Published 01/08/2008
last update 06/11/2019 11:09:09

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