2 poor quality photos, the one on the left is in too dark, the one on the right is partly in shadow and with sun glare on the front of the hoof. Both photos also have grass blocking the view of the hoof
A photo of a hoof that is muddy or standing in long grass or deep sand is fairly pointless.To get the best out of your hoof pics you need to get photos that are
B; as close as you can possibly get to the hoof without the picture becoming blurry
C; consistently take subsequent photos at the same angle-always.
D; never put yourself at risk when taking photos. Young or nervous horses can take fright at the small noises some cameras make. Do a few test runs first to make sure the horse is okay about being in the limelight before you get up close and personal!
The following sequence is a good basis for a series of hoof photos and will provide information while minimising distortion.
This sequence works well for both the horse owner and for Natural Hoof Care Practitioners who need to keep photographic records for case studies.
Side, front and sole photos should all have the hoof filling up the camera frame.
Most digital cameras have a close up photo setting or 2.
Set your camera to all the close up settings you have, and then move the camera as close to the hoof as you can to get a good close up shot.
Don’t use the zoom for close up’s.
You should get a better quality photo by moving the camera towards the hoof.
Side on photos should be taken at right angles to the hoof with the camera lens aiming at the middle of the hoof.
The horse should be standing on level ground, preferably a smooth surface that doesn’t have any grass, or debris between the camera and the hoof.
For practitioners, a small square of plywood carried in the car is handy to place the hoof on if a concrete surface is not available.
Examples of side on photos