I’ve just returned from a week in sunny Southern California where I attended the annual workshop and meeting of Vision 18 Collective, a group of equine photographers that gather to exchange information, work on projects and have fun! It gives us a chance to step beyond our comfort zones, try new techniques work in a different manner. It’s not always about horses, but they do have a starring role!
Our gathering was hosted by Terri Miller and Axel Steiner, who graciously opened their beautiful home to us. It’s a resort in itself! With tennis court, swimming pool, hot tub and beautiful views of the valley below. I wish to thank them once again for their generosity.
Those in attendance were Terri Miller, Sharon Fibelkorn, Marie Cobb, Kim Vickery, Mary Cornelius, Lynne Glazer, Cristy Cumberworth, Darlene Wolhart, Karin Neimark and Amy Cody-Riley. Sorely missed were Susan Sexton, Melanie Snowhite, Candace Craw-Goldman, April Visel and Nancy McCallum who were not able to join us this year.
We worked on studio lighting with horses at Fox Hill Farm near San Marcos, CA. A beautiful green oasis in the high desert. Our models were Donna Richardson with Postulano and Jazzman; Leah Forrest with Wynnica; Steve Borders with Exsupery. Donna was very generous to share her farm, horses, and be a model for us! I can’t thank them all enough for providing us with this rare opportunity.
The next day we headed to the Imperial Sand Dunes near Glamis, California to photograph 2 beautiful Arabians and their riders in native costume against the beautiful tones of the setting sun. It’s the time of year when the light takes on a magical golden tone.
Shortly after arriving at the designated meeting spot we were greeted by two park rangers who were curious as to just what we were doing there with horses and a large contingent of big glass. Then just as the shoot was starting we were joined by a group of dune buggies who patiently waited their turn to be in front of the paparazzi! They put on a show for us before leaving the area to allow us to finish the shoot with the horses.
The riders were careful not to over tire the horses in the deep sand knowing we were all looking forward to capturing them at sunset. Then as the sun was slipping below the horizon and the sky lit up with deep golden tones we all scrambled for a good position to catch the horses and riders with the blazing sky behind them. We were scattered around the hills and valleys of the dunes but I have to say that half the fun was watching the youngest member of our group climbing around to get the best vantage point. I do believe her new nickname should be Monkey!
We finished the week with a trip to the famous San Diego Zoo. I’m sure they wondered what had been turned loose on the animals! Groups of photographers walking around with large lenses and multiple bodies. From the zoo we drove to Coronado Island to watch the sun set over the ocean and have a celebratory dinner at a fine restaurant with a view of the bay.
We were up early the next morning for a long day of travel back to our abodes. It was a wonderful week filled with laughter, learning and sharing.