The horse has long been a symbol of freedom, power, and beauty. They have been the subjects of painters and sculptors for thousands of years. World leaders have been depicted atop horses. And brands as diverse as Ferrari and Marlboro have used the image of the horse to convey feelings and emotions as complex as the commonality of man and Italian elegance.
In Coastal Horses, I’m seeking to photograph horses while stripping away everything else from the image. The resulting photographs, shot on black seamless, explore the form, musculature, and elegance of the iconic horse free from any distractions. The images combine formal portrait lighting techniques, modern sports photography techniques, and elements of painting to create works that diverge from traditional approaches to photographing the horse. The visual simplicity of these photographs allow the natural austere beauty of the horse to take center stage in a powerful, immediate way. All of the horse’s strengths are on full display.
Additional work on this project would explore the symbiotic relationship between sport horses and riders. The mutual trust, training, and skill necessary to compete in disciplines such as English, Western, and polo riding is enormous. By using these photographic techniques, the viewer can examine the decisive moment, the simplicity, and the art of horse riding.