The Story Behind the Image

The Challenge of Photographing Pack Horses

On every pack horse trip I have made in the past 25 years, I have tried to make a successful photograph that shows pack horses happily grazing in their mountain environment.

Some of the challenges include the juxtaposition of different coloured horses, horses that are in front of one another causing them to merge, the directions in which they face, and a perspective that separates them from merging with a distracting background. Finally, on September, 2014 all the elements came together.

Lets take a look. Firstly, the two horses which speak to the narrative, are in the immediate foreground, they are of two different colours which adds interest and texture,  they are facing the right direction, and they are both grazing. Secondly, the rest of the horses are in the middle-ground providing context to the narrative, are not merged together, and are all grazing. Thirdly, the alpine meadow was a vibrant green and in beautiful condition. Lastly, I was able to gain a perspective which showed the horses contained within the meadow and not merged with the distant hills. Whew….finally!

As simple as this image looks, it has been among the most difficult compositions I have ever made. As it turned out, I made it just in time to include in my final publication, British Columbia’s Cariboo Chilcotin Coast; A Photographer’s Journey. 

Leave a Reply