Photographer Captures the Awesome Power of Draft Horses in Her Dramatic Equine Action Shots

By Michael Wing
Michael Wing
Michael Wing
Editor and Writer
Michael Wing is a writer and editor based in Calgary, Canada, where he was born and educated in the arts. He writes mainly on culture, human interest, and trending news.
September 6, 2021 Updated: September 6, 2021

One Dutch photographer was inspired to take pictures on the beach, where capturing her dogs in action sparked her interest. She later took portraying that interest to another level entirely, photographing huge horses in dynamic shots.

Christina Merk’s affection for photography was handed down to her from her father when she was a child. He had a darkroom that first kindled her passion; she would also sometimes pose as her dad’s model.

And as a child, she was also very fond of horses and rode them often.

“I love nothing more than capturing horses in action,” Merk told The Epoch Times. “Their strength, beauty, and freedom is the most beautiful thing there is.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Christa Merk)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Christa Merk)

Portraying the strength displayed by these powerful animals through her lens is her biggest challenge, she said, adding that “horses are fast and big,” and “capturing that correctly” is her ultimate aim.

Rather than photographing fiery, excitable, smaller breeds, Merk prefers photo-shooting cold-blooded horses (breeds that are cooler in temperament), such as large draft horses and Friesians, which also make shooting a breeze.

“The movement of a Fries is royal and the appearance of a draft horse is beautiful,” she told the newspaper. “They are cool in their heads and not easily nervous.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Christa Merk)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Christa Merk)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Christa Merk)

Merk prefers to take photos of horses in natural settings. She photo-shoots both wild horses in the Netherlands as well as domesticated ones, first asking permission from their owners. The photographer, who also works as a hearing-care professional, doesn’t use a tripod and prefers a Nikon D850. She uses Nikkor 70-200 2.8 and  Sigma 105 1.4 lenses.

“I always photograph the horses with a fast shutter speed and my lens wide open, so aperture 1.4 or 2.8,” she shared.

The photographer creates her signature dreamy, often dark, and dramatic effects in her photos using post-processing techniques in Adobe Lightroom, which helps bring out the regal power and sublime beauty of the equine animals. She displays her work on Instagram and on her website.

The photographer loves long walks and photographing the natural environment. “I love to look for wildlife in nature and capture it unnoticed,” she said.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Christa Merk)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Christa Merk)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Christa Merk)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Christa Merk)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Christa Merk)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Christa Merk)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Christa Merk)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Christa Merk)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Christa Merk)

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Michael Wing
Editor and Writer
Michael Wing is a writer and editor based in Calgary, Canada, where he was born and educated in the arts. He writes mainly on culture, human interest, and trending news.