Experimental; Equine Macro Photography

be 5.45.38 PM

 

Since before my first memory I’ve been obsessed with the beauty of horses, not only their physical beauty, but their beautiful spirits, their wisdom and intuition. Since photography also is a long term friend of mine, I’ve done a lot of experimenting photographing horses. I have a collection of photos, (that may, or may not become a book one day,) with equine macro photography. When I see unusually beautiful details on a horse I can’t help myself, I need to take capture it with my lens. It can be extraordinary eye colors (like the mustang above,) a coats unusual color combinations, or texture, or swirls on their body.

 

f2

 

Above is a close-up photo of an Icelandic Horse’s muzzle, with an abundance of facial hair, and you can see a hint of a thick winter coat in the background.

 

Sir3

 

A horse coats have swirls, just like our hair. Since a horse have a lot more hair than we humans, many also have more swirls (sometimes called whorls.) The most common places to see them is on their face, neck, chest, and flanks. There’s many theories, and even legends about their meaning. To some degree I believe there’s something to them. Having swirls like the Arabian Horse above means prosperity to its owner, according to the Bedouine beliefs.

 

Swirls are hair rooted in brain cells; the rest of the hair is developed from hair follicles in the skin. The forehead swirl hair is the most influencial because it is the first hair to develop and grow on the body in the embryonic fetus. – Charlotte Cannon

 

Here is an interesting article if you would like to know more about swirls. All my personal favorite  horses through the years, had two, or three swirls on their foreheads. A coincidence?

 

chiefmane

 

An older mustang with a beautiful, long, two colored mane.

 

romeo6

 

An Arabian Horse with big, clear, expressive eyes. I was called out to a ranch to take pictures of another horse, while this guy decided to hang out with me. His company was very pleasant. It was a cold, windy day, and I spent a good couple hours taking photos of his friend. The owner disappeared into her warm house after  a few minutes. I didn’t quiet get the shot I wanted of the crazy horse I was supposed to take pictures of, but I’m kind of happy with this one. (The owner was happy with the other ones too.)

I hope you enjoyed these experimental photos. I just realized that the horses in this post happened to be my three favorite horse breeds; Icelandic, Arabian, and Mustang.

Looking forward to see other entries in the weekly photos challenge. Have an amazing day!

Love,

Ms Zen

 

 

Layered

vr4 (1)

A few more shots from my trip to the desert last weekend.

vr2 (1)_ (1)

The high desert is a most interesting place. I find it very inviting, but at the same time it’s extremely harsh. It’s like a magnet drawing me to the sea of sage brush. I believe it’s the scents that attracts me the most. I devour that scent every chance I get. It’s almost intoxicating.

vr3 (1)

I thought the desert photos was a good choice for his week’s photo challenge; Layered.

This week, share with us a layered image of your own. The topic is wide open, as long as you focus on the interplay of depth, density, and texture (or just choose one of these elements if you’d like). Strata of clouds, a shirt collar peeking through a sweater, a cross-section of an onion: you can keep your interpretation as literal or as figurative as you wish.

I look forward to exploring this topic through your photos!

 

Love,

Ms Zen

 

The Wild Stallion

vr (1)

One of my absolute favorite things to do, that keeps me grounded, and sane, is to watch horses be horses. I particularly enjoy observing wild mustangs. There’s a few bands of horses in my neighboring state Nevada, that I try to check in on a couple times a year. Naturally I don’t always find them, horses move around a lot, up to 50 miles a day.

vr2 (1)

Some bands (family group of horses,) live closer to civilization and are easier to find. (As much as I enjoy seeing them, I wish that they were further away, but that’s a story for another day.) The pinto stallion in the two photos above live very close to the city of Reno. Sometimes he’s a little higher up in the hills, but sometimes he wander very close to the houses in the suburbs of Reno. I took the photos above yesterday.

I’ve been following this stallions adventure for five years. The first time I saw him, I was with some friends in a vehicle, he was prancing around with another young stallion in the middle of the road. As he grew older he learned to stay away from the roads, (at least I hope so.)

db 2

This photo is from December 2014. I did see him last year as well, but he was injured then, and seem to be agitated. I always stay on a respectful distance, and only take pictures with a telephoto lens. However, last year, I choose to not even do that.

Of course he noticed me before I noticed him yesterday. When I did see him, he was looking straight at me. His eyes were soft, and I swear he recognizes me by now. This is a very intelligent horse. He is a master of building friendships with other horses, not something stallions are known for. The horse in the first photos is another stallion, and they have been friends for years. When their friendship started the pinto stallion was the protector. When the pinto stallion got injured last year, the chestnut stallion never left his side. I saw them several times during this period, and he was never more than a few feet away from his friends. Horses are very loyal.

3b

I took this photo 4 years ago. I have it as a canvas on my wall. Here he was a young, rather hostile, insecure, but very good looking stallion. Dangerous to even be within a few hundred feet of. Can you see the tense wrinkles in the corner of his mouth? Seeing this beautiful horse grow from a young stallion, to a mature horse, still wild and free, is something that gives me extreme pleasure.

Watching wild horses is one of the most intense experiences in mindfulness one can have. Your mind have to be completely still. I want to have room in my life for this kind of experiences. It means something to me. I hope you enjoyed the experience as well.

The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact 
with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit and freedom.

~ Sharon Ralls Lemon

 

Love,

Ms Zen

 

© Copyright 2017 NorCal Zen. All Rights Reserved. If you’re interested in prints of a photo use the contact forum in the top menu, and I’ll be very happy to help you. Regular photo prints, and canvas prints are available.