Tag Archives: Horse

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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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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Wild Horses on a Carolina Summer Evening

A couple of weeks ago I shot a beach portrait session for a lovely family. I came home that evening and downloaded the images from the session. The next day I went to use that camera for another project only to find it was dead! It simply would not power-up. I tried exchanging batteries, cleaning lens contacts and all the other little simple things that can sometimes resolve these kinds of issues. But nothing worked. That left me with a decision to make: Repair or replace. And older model in my mind replace was the best option. So I decided to pick-up a lightly used Canon 7D from Adorama.com. The images below are the first of the horses I’ve made with this camera.

Wild Horse on the Carolina Coast

Wild Horses of the Crystal Coast

Wild stallion on the North Carolina coast

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Wild Horses in Black & White

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

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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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Another Visit with the Wild Horses

I keep planning visits the the forest for some landscape or macro photography… and for a kayak outing or two to photograph shorebirds… but somehow I just can’t seem to get enough of the wild horses so far this year. Here’s a few from and trip earlier this week.


Wild horse feeding on the dunes.

Wild stallions sparring.

A pair of wild horses feeding on the tidal flats.

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Dramatic Rim Lighting Image

Probably not too surprisingly this image looks quite a bit different than it did when it came out of the camera. Obviously it was a color shot when the photo was made. But there was certainly more work involved that a simple conversion to black & white. For example I used a Nik plug-in in Photo Shop bring out more detail in the image. As is done with virtually every image you see the photo was sharpened, contrast was adjusted and in this case some manual burning and dodging was done to increase the drama of the image. One could argue that the image is no longer a nature photo because of the work done during post processing. That’s fine. I understand that position. In fact I’m alright with the image being referred to as a piece of art if you prefer.

If you’d like to know more about my post-processing techniques, including how to produce an image like this, and if you’d like to photograph wild horses you might be interested in my Wild Horse Photography workshop this fall. Workshop Page.


A dramatic photo of a wild mustang in black & white.

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