Why we do what we do…
The horses do not pose, there is no handler guiding an impeccably groomed horse towards the photographers. We don't mean to disparage our colleagues who do photograph domestic horses. They take extraordinary photographs but I have done those (horse shows, outdoor photo shoots, on location photo shoots etc) and I feel something vital is missing.
There are no amenities on the range, we eat reconstituted food, we bathe out of basins, there is no WIFI, no cell service, and no air conditioning except in the truck as we travel from herd to herd. We spend weeks on the range living with the horses. The temperatures can range from 40°F (4.4°C ) on Pryor Mountain to over 100°F (38°C ) at Sand Wash Basin in Colorado. We miss refrigeration; cold drinks are a luxury we don’t have very often. There is no electricity, so we charge our devices via the cigarette lighter in the truck as we travel. We carefully gauge our gas consumption, often travelling nearly an hour to refuel.
McCullough Peaks, Wyoming 2013
Abby was ten years old, and Ben was eight.
Click on the image and it will open a larger version-simply click each image and it will scroll to the next...
|Peacefully grazing in the distance|
|The Chase begins|
|A bit closer, we can tell they are probably cutting between myself & Ben and Abby|
|They pass in front of Ben and I|
|Abby appears, on the right|
|Shes dashing out of the way...|
|You can just make out Abby's leg just behind the second horse's foreleg|
|She appears, we all breathe a sigh of relief|
|They continue the chase|
|Abby, ever the professional, continues shooting...|
These are my photographs of the same scenario.
|You can see how close Abby's purple boos are to the hooves of the stallion|
It’s intense out there and it is challenging. The horses don’t pay much attention to us, so our photos are raw and natural. For myself, I want the viewer to feel as though they were standing next to me when I took the photograph, so I do not use artificial filters. Because of the unpredictability of the photographing, they are not always perfectly focused, but the power and energy are undeniable. For Karen, she has learned to paint with astonishing speed and accuracy. She can paint without interacting with the horses, effectively capturing their natural essence.
“In photography, there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.’
“Painting is the representation of visible forms. The essence of realism is its negation of the ideal.”