Category Archives: Banker Horses

Wild Horses in Black & White

Lately I’ve really been enjoying doing intimate crops of the wild horses. I especially find myself trying to make the eye the primary focus of the photo. Of course, in this case,” close-up” may be a good term for the image but it certainly isn’t accurate about how the photo was made. By using a “super-telephoto” lens it’s possible to make intimate portraits of these beautiful animals without getting too close to the horse.

I’ve also found my love for black & white imagery reinvigorated recently. Years before the digital photography age I had a love affair with black & white film. Grain, the noise of the film days, was considered a nice artistic addition to a good mono-tone photo. One of the nice things about digital photography is that every image can be both a black & white photo and a color shot. It’s all done in post processing. If you look at a number of different photographer’s work in black & white of similar subjects you’ll notice there will be differences. Some subtle. Some extreme. It’s simply a matter of the photographers expressing their artistic tastes. Here are my most recent takes on black & white equine fine art photography.

An intimate portrait of a wild horse.

Wild horse of the Carolina coast.

North Carolina wild horse in black & white

Detail shot of a wild mustang in black & white.

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Portraits of Crystal Coast Wild Horses

In a lot of my wild horse photographs I choose to frame the animals loosely and to include a nice look at the environment in which they live. This gives the viewer and opportunity to better understand where these animals live and the challenges they face to survive. However I also like to frame tightly from time to time… to make more intimate portraits of these interesting animals. Closer examinations of the horses reveals their curiosity and their personalities. Hopefully such images provides the viewer with a little insight into why I find these creatures such interesting subjects and what motivates me to keep coming back to visit them again and again.

Portrait of a wild horse.

Wild horse in black & white

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Wild Horses in Motion

There are few things as beautiful and graceful as a horse in motion. Expressing that motion in a photograph can be a little tricky. You can choose to pan along with the motion, blurring the background behind the animal. Sometimes the motion will be apparent, especially with an animal like a horse that has a flowing mane. Another though less used option is to allow some motion blur in the subject. Many modern viewers will not appreciate an image in which the subject is blurred. But I think it can add a feeling of great energy and motion. Take a look through this series of images and decide for yourself.

Wild horse in motion.

A wild stallion chases away a rival horse.

Sometimes a little motion blur can add a feeling of energy to a photo.

black prints

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Early Morning, Early Fall, Wild Horses

I made a trip over to the reserve this morning to visit and photograph the wild horses. There was just the slightest hint of autumn coolness in the air. Certainly not cold nor crisp, but there was a hint of what autumn will soon be bringing to the coast. Here are a few quick work-ups from the morning. I had noticed a patch or two of fog on the drive into Beaufort but I was out of luck for any hopes of having some moody fog for my photos.

When I first arrived the majority of the horses were grouped together around the main watering hole, as if often the case in the early morning. But I didn’t have to wait too long until a few of the animals started to meander out onto the flats for some breakfast. I positioned myself to get the sun angle I wanted and to insure an uncluttered background. My concern about the sun position soon disappeared as some clouds moved in a provided in soft, even lighting.

Wild horse on the Carolina coast.

Two amigos: Wild horses on the Carolina Coast

North Carolina wild horse

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Monday Morning You Sure Looked Fine

I rolled out of bed and headed over to the Reserve for some wild horse photography Monday morning. It was a nice morning but sure got hot and humid quick. Here are a few shots from the morning.

Wild Horse head shot.

Wild horse on the Crystal Coast.

Wild horse feeding on the tidal flats of the Outer Banks

North Carolina wild mustang

Would you like to take wild horse photos like these? Find out how here.

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A Sunday Morning Horse Fix

I’m not free to go visit the horses this morning but I need a wild horse fix! So I’ll settle for posting a favorite image from a recent visit with the horses. This one’s in black & white.

Wild horse of the Carolina Coast

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Wild Horses on a July Evening

I pulled up in front of Fisherman’s Park on Front Street in Beaufort, flipped on my hazard flashers and unloaded my kayak. A short time later I was making the short paddle across Taylor’s Creek, the onto Town Marsh Island in search of wild horses. I expected to find them on the tidal flats but instead found a group feeding amongst the cedars on the dunes. I spent some time photographing these wild creatures then moved on to look over the flats in search of more of these majestic animals. Glancing out to the flats I spotted a small group of horses so started my wet, muddy hike out to them. Such is a typical evening in pursuit of equines wild… the horses of the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve.

Wild horse at the Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve near Beaufort, NC

Wild Horse on the Carolina Coast

Wild Mustang, Rachel Carson Estuarine Reserve

Wild Horse

Wild horse close-up

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Workshop & Tour Participants in Action

One of the most frequent questions I hear from photographers interested in my workshops or tours has to do with what kind of conditions they’ll encounters. Depending on the season it could be hot or cold. The horses can be found in a variety of environments. It might be wet, dry, grassy or sandy. Usually, over the course of a few days, participating photographers get to experience a variety of environments. Another question that comes up often has to do with how physically demanding the tours and workshops are. Sometimes it’s just a matter of sliding off of the boat and making images of horse Other times we may have to hike or wade to get to the animals. I also field a few questions about amenities. Simply put, there aren’t any… or at least they’re few and far between… on the islands where the horses live. We do, however, keep cold drinks onboard our charter boat and take lunch breaks at waterfront restaurants (no boxed lunches here!). The simple truth is that, while we may get a little muddy, a bit wet and sandy, we have a really good time. Sharing time with other creatives is always a great way to recharge your artistic batteries, make new friends and develop some new ideas. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy check out my workshop page for more information about my upcoming workshop and tour. Below are a few shots from past tours and workshops showing photographers in action with the horses.










Also posted in Education, Guided Tours, Nature Photography, Workshops

Wild Horses in Black & White

Here are a couple black & white photos for the wild horses. One is somewhat abstract. Hope you enjoy them.




black photos

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Summer Time and the Horses are Easy

Well, not really easy but I was having a hard time coming up with a title for this post. I figured what the heck, why not a play on lyrics. During the “dog days of summer” the horses get a bit less rowdy… conserving energy and hydration I imagine. There are fewer opportunities for shots of them with their heads up or of them fighting. Still, there are plenty of photo opportunities with these beautiful animals. Just a friendly reminder if you decide to visit the horses, regulations require you stay at least 50 feet away from the horses. I wouldn’t want to see you get in trouble or, worse yet, and injury occur to you or one of the horses.



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