February 15, 2014

roots


So some of you may know that long before I ever picked up a camera, horses were my life. I began riding at a very young age and continued right up until I was about nineteen. You all know about my beautiful horse Tenoso, but what you may not know is that my photographic roots lie with horses. 

I got my first camera in 2007. It was a pretty terrible Kodak point and shoot digital camera and I got it just because I kind of wanted a camera. I worked at a yard during the summer of 2008 and started to bring my camera, just to take a few pictures of the horses and stuff, it definitely wasn't serious. At this time in my life, deviantART was pretty important to me, and I had made connections in the equine art community over there. I was beginning to see the work of some equine photographers (Niki Walker, Payton Adams and Jill Sahner were probably my biggest inspirations). 

I wasn't the best at drawing, but I wanted to capture how beautiful I thought horses were. So I started to think about what I was actually doing a little bit more. Very innocently, I began thinking about angles and lighting and colour and composition. I'm not going to lie and say it came naturally at first, but looking back now, I definitely did have a flair for it. 

I can still remember the picture that made me sit up and think "Ok, maybe I'm actually ok at this". I have trawled through thousands of images on my old desktop computer to try and find it, but unfortunately it seems to be gone forever. Compared to what I know I could do now, it's pretty awful. But I remember so well looking at it on the back of that shit little LCD screen and being like "whoa".

Within six months I had a DSLR of my own because I knew if horses were what I wanted to photograph, instant shutter release was essential. It was here I learned first about timing and shutter speed. I never once shot on auto and was pretty determined to learn how to expose things correctly, even if it was by trial and error. 

I spent hours at the stables photographing every horse and every interesting thing I saw. I spent even longer messing around and teaching myself photoshop at home. Kind of glad I had my HOLY SHIT PHOTOSHOP IS AMAZING phase so young to get it out of my system. I'm sure you all know I'm quite anti-photoshop now.

It all kind of exploded from there and I started to shoot other things and people and landscapes and everything. I ate the world up with my little D40 and 18-55mm plastic piece of shit lens. 2009 was my first horse shows and first "fashion" shoot with people in school and 2010 was getting published and exhibited for the first time and deciding I loved this more than anything in the world and discovering that IADT existed and beginning to think that I wanted nothing more than to study photography there.. 2011 was more exhibitions and features and winning competitions. 2012 was getting into my dream course and 2013 was this blog. I know we're already a month or so in but I can't even imagine what could happen this year and to think that all this might never have happened if I'd not put my tiny foot into a stirrup at the age of four is absolutely insane. 

2014 is the year of the horse and recently I went to see a show in the Gallery of Photography celebrating all things equine with a selection of works inspired by my favourite four legged friends. Part of me was kind of annoyed to see these beautiful prints hung there when I had definitely been shooting things almost identical when I was just 14 years old, but I was mostly inspired to think back to where this all began.

I've stumbled upon a heap of my old equine work and am considering uploading it here, if anyone actually cares or wants to see. Let me know what you guys think! 

The photo above is of Tenoso in the yard I bought him from. It was taken on that Kodak point and shoot, and edited to fuck on Photoshop, probably around 2009 sometime. 

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