Readers of this blog will know that my favorite quote is from Antoine de St. Exupery:  “What is essential is invisible to the eye; one must see with the heart.”

While visiting the home of Ana Batista and Orlando Vicente in Portugal, this feeling, this belief was vibrating in me while I watched the horses work.

The epicenter of the Lusitano culture is the Ribatejo in Portugal. We were in the heart of it, watching and participating in the most important aspect of this culture. Working with bulls over hundreds and hundreds of years guided the breeders to create horses of amazing functionality, and brilliant, courageous…. but calm temperaments. We saw all of these attributes in action, along with the finesse and ability of their riders! This was the soul of the Ribatejo.  500 years of diligence, respect for the essence of the horse, and clarity of vision has created spectacularly bred horses. They enjoy what they are doing and perform with elegance and spirit.

As the light faded I had to shift my tactics for shooting. Slowing the shutter and feeling the movement was exactly what was needed. Though I was photographing, not riding, I did feel part of the moment, not just an observer. It was sublime.

The results? Of course it is entirely subjective, but I am pleased. Pleased because the images bring the feeling, the experience, right back to me.  I hope I’ve communicated a little of it to you, my reader. Thanks for stopping by. And if you REALLY love the images, come with me on the next trip in Portugal. Zip me an email and I’ll send you an amazing itinerary. Lastly, for my photo friends, these images were created with a slow shutter, panning, and a FLYPAPER TEXTURES layer or two in Photoshop using mostly the overlay blending mode. It’s fun, creative, and super simple. Push my button….just over there on the right side of the panel….and you can see all the fabulous things that Jill and Paul are doing over at Flypaper.

5 Responses to “essence”

  1. December 12, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Very nice post. I had learned a lot. Keep on sharing one.

  2. January 6, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    I know bull-fighting is a long tradition, but find it a bit hard.. These photos are wonderful, beautiful, very good!

    • January 7, 2013 at 3:35 am

      Thank you so much for your comment! Yes, I agree with you, totally. The Portuguese do not kill the bull or make it suffer like the Spanish tradition. But the bull is killed, humanely, right after the fight. It’s actually a lot less traumatic than what our “beef” herds go through before being slaughtered. But, this is not a justification. However, I do appreciate your comments about the photos. Thanks for finding the blog! Keron

      • January 7, 2013 at 11:33 am

        I actually didn’t know it was this difference. Much enlightening. And I agree about beef industry etc. I am a meat eater, but I think most people really don’t know or care to what extent a lot of farming animals are traumatisted on the way to our plates. Love your horse-pictures!!

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Trafalgar Square Horse Books

November 2012


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