Featured Image for March 2024

"Disappearing Mustangs of the American West"

The image I started with, of the mustang on the hill standing behind the tall brush was originally going to be named "Protect" because that's the word and the energy that the image conveyed to me.  A single guard or watch horse will take on the role of protecting the herd from danger.  They often rotate this role.  Their job is to alert the herd to any potential danger.

I began to play with the image and this is what emerged.  I didn't start out with the intention to make a statement, but one emerged.  It would suit an editorial piece on the current narrative of many wild horse advocacy groups.  Is the sun setting on the protection ideals of the Wild Horse and Burro act of 1971?  Will it be saved?  What exactly HAS happened under the programs of the Bureau of Land Management?  It varies from state to state.  Was that the intention?  

While I continue to follow both sides as well as bystanders and reporters who try to be unbiased, all I've concluded is that it's a complex issue involving more than one -- more than two -- more than several -- "stakeholders".  I continue to sort through the information out there.  Educating myself is a long ongoing process.  I hope this encourages YOU to do your own research on the issues.

The mustang image that has been "ghosted" was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc, California on May 20, 2019.  The image has been added to the Fine Art Gallery.  

Featured Image for February 2024

"Mud in My Hair and I Don't Care"

I was scrolling through images looking for which image to feature this month and this one caught my eye.  As photographers, we can only control so much (like almost nothing), so when I get images with this super cool lit background because of the way the sunlight is partly blocked by clouds, and then I get a horse that comes up over a hill with dried mud all over and a wind swept mane, it just delights me.  No it's not "perfect" but you know what?  It IS perfect, because it makes ME happy.  I hope you like it to.

This image was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc, California on May 20, 2019.  The image has been added to the Fine Art Gallery.  

Featured Image for January 2024

"Winter Is With Us"

"Winter" is a beautiful and curious mare who approached us (photographers), along with Grey Mare and a red roan not far behind.

This image was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo, California on March 15, 2021.  The image has been added to the Fine Art Gallery.  

Featured Image for November 2023

"Side by Side"

These two can always be found together.  Although they now live on the Return to Freedom Sanctuary, they are wild Mustangs and live like they would "in the wild".  It has been such a privilege to be able to observe the mustangs at the sanctuary and witness true herd behavior.  I see that horses form relationships and choose to be with one another.  I watch how they communicate and how they groom each other, how they will shelter together.  Anyway, these two are just a couple of my favorites at the San Luis Obispo Sanctuary and I wanted to share this image with you this month.  It makes me happy!

This image was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo, California during our June 2023 Equine Photography Workshop.  The image has been added to the Fine Art Gallery.  

Featured Image for October 2023

"Golden"

The hills this past June had turned golden and made a
beautiful setting for photographing the mustangs as they moved about the land
at the Sanctuary.  I like how this shot shows the freeze brand on his neck
and the number on his rump and conveys movement.

This image was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary
in San Luis Obispo, California during our June 2023 Equine Photography
Workshop.  The image has been added to the Fine Art Gallery.

Featured Image for August 2023

"Softly, Three"

From the photo safari at Return to Freedom in San Luis Obispo last month.  A small group of photographers had positioned themselves on a rocky outcrop where we thought the horses would gallop by when they left their current position on the next hill.  So I left the photographers there, and very slowly walked over to the herd with the intention to get on the other side of them and apply gently pressure so they would go in the direction of the photographers.  As I walked through the herd, I got a few shots of them hanging out and grazing together.  This is one of them.  I liked this group with the wild oats all around them!  They just had this softness about them.  That's how they were with each other and with me.  It was beautiful to stand among the herd!

This image was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo at 6 p.m. June 29, 2023.  The image has been added to the Fine Art Gallery.

Featured Image for July 2023

"Grey Mare"

I hosted a photo safari at Return to Freedom in San Luis Obispo this past week.  We would go out and observe the horses in the morning and evening and photograph them.  This amazing mare is old and wise.  She leads a large band of horses and works tirelessly to keep them safe and together.  If they get separated, she will get them back together.  I have admired her since I first saw her 5 years ago during my first visit to RTF in SLO.  So for my first image of the month from this recent visit, I honor Grey Mare!

This image was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo at 5 p.m. June 27, 2023.  The image has been added to the Fine Art Gallery.

Featured Image for June 2023

"Return From The Water Hole"

The setting sun is creating this beautiful back light that allows us to capture highlights on the mane, back, tail, and even lights up some of the mist coming from the horse's nose in the foreground as it blows some of the dust out of its nose.  I've named this image Return From The Water Hole because of the visible mud on the horses!  They've been to their version of the spa.

This image was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo at 7 p.m. June 29, 2018.  The image has been added to the Fine Art Gallery.

Featured Image for May 2023

"Solitude"

Another image from the Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo. At 6 p.m. in April, the sun is creating this beautiful light that allows us to capture highlights on the mane and tail with a soft lighting all around and some deeper shadows in the landscape forming.  I decided to make this image black and white to emphasize light and shadow and form.

This image was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo in April 2020.

Featured Image for April 2023

"Dinner with a View"

When you visit the Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo, you start out winding through Oak woods and rolling hills.  When you reach the top of the hills, you are treated to views of Morro Bay to the west and the Pismo/Oceano Dunes coastline to the south.  I don't know if the horses appreciate the views, but I sure do!

This image was taken at Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo in April 2020.

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