Sophie Lapsley

Sophie Lapsley has been a member of Corio Bay Camera Club since June 2010.

For Sophie photography has always been just a hobby with her main interest being taking photos of competition horses which she did for pony clubs and riding groups in New Zealand. She says that horses will always be her favourite subject, but she also leans towards other animals and wildlife.

When on a shoot, the thing that inspires her to take the photos she does is trying to capture, understand and learn about her subjects and to communicate their soul or their story.

Sophie’s first “main” camera was a Pentax (but she doesn’t remember what model). It had an 18–90 mm zoom lens. She currently uses a Canon 500D with a 450D as a backup. Her favourite lens is her Tamron 18–270 mm zoom. For her bird and wildlife photography she uses a Sigma 150–500mm lens. She has other lenses, but says she rarely gets to use them. When asked what her favourite piece of kit was, she didn’t identify a particular camera or lens, but somewhat surprisingly identified her shoulder straps because she “can carry two cameras all day and not feel it.”

Sophie believes her greatest photographic achievement to date occurred when she was photographing equestrian competitions, being able to capture the partnership between horse and rider in an image for the competitors – something that many do not have as they are busy competing, and often don’t have anyone able to take photos for them. Unfortunately most of these images are on film and she has not had a chance to scan them yet.

When asked if there was anything that she’d like to improve in her photography, her answer was simple – “Everything”. She says she would like to try all styles and learn new techniques and learn all she can about photography. She has hundreds of books which she is always flicking through for hints or inspiration and the same for websites. Sophie describes herself as a bit of a website and book “grazer”.

Among the photographer that she particularly admires, she says her main inspiration has been Steve Parish as a better known photographer. She also mentioned Babara Thompson, not widely known but one of the most knowledgeable horse photographers in New Zealand. Sophie also pays tribute to the members of Corio Bay Camera Club and contacts through the club who have greatly influenced and helped her improve her photography and the help that they are always happy to give.

A selection of Sohies images is shown below. When asked which were her favourites, she picked out the photo of the dog out for a walk as this captures the pure enjoyment of the dog; Tawney Frogmouth as these are new birds to her and she finds the eyes just captivating; Fluff the Sabino Stallion as this was her last stallion in New Zealand and it reminds her of a unicorn for some reason, almost magical. She says “I should not say it but my favourite photos are the ones that mean something to me rather than judging them for their technical merit.”

Bambi – this was a Christmas present for a friend.

Between the jumps. This was taken at a 3 Day Event

Black Dog – Just sums up the enjoyment of a dog out on a walk

Dinner Time – This Blue Faced Honeyeater is quite a rare bird and I just loved its colours.

Fluff – Sabino Stallion. This was my Stallion when I was in New Zealand.

This is my youngest son who cries when you even mention taking a photo so I was extremely lucky to get this one!!

Landing – I just love this shot at the 3 Day Event, not necessarily a great picture as it was thick fog.

Last Horse of the Day – This takes me back to my days competing where you have cleared the last jump and you take the final check on your watch and ask for the last ounce of energy left from your mount.

Mandrill Pair – The colours and detail of the fur is what attracted me to this pair.

Orangutan Elder – Just love the expression.

Orange Day Lily – for the lighting and the glow of the colours

Roses Foal – Capturing new life – this foal was only one day old.


Shorty – This was one of the last photos taken of a friend’s horse that I looked after when she returned to NZ from Australia.

Swallow Taking Off – Just like it

Tawney Frogmouth – for the colours in the eyes and the detail of the feathers.

Zebra Pair -showing the cheeky side of  Zebras.