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The horse photo,
has some strange artifacts from the editing session. It also has the nearest foreground object out of focus. That usually messes with my eyes so I move on to another photo. I don’t know if others feel that way too. If you have the raw file, there may be enough data for Adobe Camera Raw to provide a good exposure of the blown out parts.
I’m learning from this just how much I get attached to photos — I took 3-5 of the horses and bridles but the only lens on hand was my 18-55mm (I was hired because the original photographer couldn’t make it and a friend knew I was visiting another friend nearby, so I only had my basic kit with me) and none worked — the fence always became the focal point! Was I using the wrong tool or could I have got the shot (at least of bridles, probably not the long shot of the horses, which was also what I attempted) using that lens? I know had I had my 50, I could have made this gorgeous. Anyway, as I started to say: I still want this to work so much it’s still up there!
I have the original Canon 18-55 kit lens. I have probably taken less than 100 photos with it since 2006, when I got it. There is not really anything wrong with that lens, it is reasonably sharp and since it is light it makes a good back up lens when travelling. You can throw it in your suitcase and not worry about it. Anyway, all lenses work the same way. The longer the focal length, the shallower the depth of field, the hyperfocal distance moves further from the camera. The larger the aperture, the shallower the depth of field. If you wanted the bridles and horses in reasonably sharp focus, moving back a little and using the short end of the lens would probably provide that. You could stop down the lens a bit for added insurance. A good alternative would have been to nail the focus of the bridles and let the horses go out of focus. As long as you get the general shape and people can figure out they are horses, they are sharp enough for that kind of shot. But you really need the bridles to be sharp.