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Legendary Photos: The Stories Behind 7 of Art Wolfe’s Iconic Images

Nature photographer discusses his classic shots

Photo of a spirit horse by Art Wolfe

Spirit Horse

There is some ancient memory in us as humans that makes the warmth and smell of the horse seem familiar even if they have not been an integral part of our lives. From the classic royalty of the Andalusian to the casual confidence of the American quarter horse to the spirited herds of the Camargue, the horse has long captivated me as a symbol of power, grace, and form. I began my love affair with the horse on the Serengeti Plain of Tanzania and Kenya, where vast herds of zebras, spirited and wild, cross the open landscape. Naturally, my lens turned toward the zebra’s domesticated cousin. “Spirit Horse” is the culmination of this fascination.

“Spirit Horse” is an Andalusian mare named Selene. In 2012 I photographed her against the dark wall of a barn & used a blower to lift the mane. She was unfazed, only arching her neck and eyeing it, her owner/trainer standing nearby to keep her calm. She is a gorgeous horse, beautifully trained in dressage, and much loved. The texture of her mane, the softness of her eyes, and the sinuous curve of her neck is a moment captured that is both scenic and intimate.

I captured this image with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III an d EF 70-200mm f/4L USM lens at f/14 for 1/400 second, ISO 800.

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