At Rancho Daimari, a horse is brought back to the stable after a late afternoon ride. Aruba was almost completely deserted in the colonial era when the Dutch West India Company forbade immigrants and adventurers from settling on the island. For centuries, it was used as a breeding ground for horses, and there are now many ranches on the island that offer riding holidays.
Aruba – Photo Tip

How changing your perspective makes you a better photographer

Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Aruba – Photo Tip How changing your perspective makes you a better photographer

The colonial history of Aruba can be summarized in one word: horses.

Jochem Wijnands
Jochem Wijnands Founder / photographer

For centuries Aruba was nothing short of a colossal stud farm that provided horses for the many Dutch enterprises in the Americas. While horses no longer roam the island as they once did, Aruba still has several ranchos that pay tribute to its equestrian past. Any story on Aruba would be incomplete without capturing this one essential element.

Knowing that an accurate historical image was impossible, I sought to capture a romantic one instead. After visiting the ranches, I finally settled on Rancho Daimari due to its remote location near the rough and uninhabited eastern coastline. The ranch, located in a palm tree-studded valley, rises up like a Bedouin tent in an oasis.

I arrived early and left late. I watched groups of tourists come and go, horses being saddled and unsaddled. I absorbed the hustle and bustle of daily routine. I started with the fantastic 14-24mm wide-angle lens, but around midday, when I finally had time to scan through my photos, I realized this would never work. I couldn’t frame the scenes properly or limit the number of elements in the photo to create that idyllic atmosphere I wanted to capture. I needed more control.

I switched to a 70-200mm lens and completely changed my perspective. I kept my distance and tried to stay out of the way; tried not to interact with man or horse. I started looking for colors and shapes instead of action, for composition instead of detail. By stepping away from the scene I managed to create a paparazzi-like atmosphere, hidden from view by palm trees, which added that touch of intimacy that makes this image so successful.

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For centuries, Aruba was used as a breeding ground for horses, and there are now many ranches on the island that offer riding holidays. Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

NIKON D2X

Aperture
ƒ/38/5
Exposure
1/250
ISO
200
Focal
120/1 mm

For centuries, Aruba was used as a breeding ground for horses, and there are now many ranches on the island that offer riding holidays.

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