How do I create the images to grace your walls?
Clearly as a photographer a camera fits in there somehow. If you hang around photographers enough, you will soon hear them complain about people seeing a great photograph and saying ‘you must have a great camera’. It’s kind of like telling a chef she must have great saucepans, or a ceramicist a fabulous kiln. It is the artist that manipulate these tools to create the results, not the tools that make them. No camera ever climbed out the cupboard before dawn, drove through the fog, to arrive at the water just as the light was penetrating the mist. No camera every walked around an indoor arena looking at where the light was falling, where a horse was likely to turn away from a wall, no camera observed birds in flight so it could anticipate the moment before the moment when the shutter must be depressed.
Just, however, as a great set of saucepans or a whizz bang kiln can make your life easier, so can a great camera. A camera with great precision and which allows you to just shoot on auto or control minutely all your settings.
Equally you will meet photographers who will swear all you need is one good 50mm lens, and that might be true for some genres, but I challenge anyone to take a frame filling shot of a horse ( or tiger) galloping towards you at full speed with a 50mm lens.
So my main camera is a full function SLR and a zoom lens. And it happens to be a Canon. If you are an Australian of a certain age reading this, you will probably be familiar with question ‘Ford or Holden”? As in despite the fact there are many cars made and you might drive a Corolla you can still fall into either Ford or Holden camp. (If you aren’t Australian you might have to look up a bit of motoring history and in particular the Bathurst 500 mile endurance and the Mt Panorama racetrack). Amongst equine and wild life photographers the equivalent is are you a Canon girl or Nikon? The thing is, once you wander down the aisle into the waiting presence of the camera sales guy and he sets you on your way with your first SLR and lens kit, you are entering a long term relationship, little do you know it. You see, the next thing you do is you buy another better quality or bigger lens, then a specialist lens for something else and so on. And good lenses are expensive. So the day comes when you feel you need a new camera body. Maybe you just want to have two cameras and lenses ready to use interchangeably, or maybe you want more electronic built in wizardry. No matter why you find yourself having to stick with the same brand, you simply have too much invested in glass. If you do decide to change it is like going through a divorce where the other party gets to keep the house, the car, the bank account and the dog and you have to start again from scratch. Not something done lightly.
There are other players in the market, getting better all the time, but the impediments to switching are the same. My ‘big’ camera is not my only way of capturing images, I also have my ‘street’ camera. An Olympus mirrorless micro four thirds, which is a full functioning SLR but much smaller, with less hefty lenses. I can put in my bag and carry it around easily. It’s just not quite fast enough for wildlife and horses, but the technology is improving all the time. The powerhouses of Canon and Nikon also do not want to see their loyal customers slip away into the clutches of the likes of Sony so are bringing out their own versions. It’s an exciting new space for photographers.
And then of course I have the camera I seem to use the most because it is always with me. My phone. One of the things I do is create my own textures to blend into my images and the phone is perfect for collecting those.
I am passionate about bringing to life the power and the beauty, the gentleness and the strength, the presence and physical embodiment, the grounding, that I find and experience with horses in a way that you can connect to through my art. I want to speak to that little girl that used to be pony mad but grew up and has a "real job' now. That wears high heels to work and is perfectly groomed but still has an inner hankering to feel smooth coat under her hands and breath in the hot earthy smell of them and not worry about the dirt under her nails. To the person whose breath is taken away when the see a horse galloping in the distance, that stops talking in the car as they pass a paddock with a few scruffy ponies in it. And I want to do it in my way. Not just through a perfectly executed photograph, tack sharp, perfect lighting, wonderful pose or angle. There as so many brilliant photographers out there doing that, many are my friends and teachers. I cannot paint with paint, but I can paint with pixels. Sometimes the form of the horse almost (completely) disappears but its essence is in the image. And I want to do it in accessible ways, practical ways. Not just an image to hang on your wall, but something that you can carry with you, be part of your daily life, that you can take out and find escape in when you need to.