Nature photographer Scott Wilson shares insights and tips
for capturing the energy and raw beauty of wild horses.
*Please scroll to the bottom of the post for more images from our guest.*
Photographing Wild Horses
with Scott Wilson
- Semi-accessible, large wild animals.
- Wild, raw energy that you can’t get from domesticated horses.
- Diverse range of ages, sizes, colors and patterns.
- Unique experiences every time.
– Winter gives a crisp landscape and frost on the horses.
– Spring is the time for foaling and fighting. Males fight for the rights to the females in testosterone-filled, high-energy events.
– Summer is quieter but bands of horses don’t stray far from water sources.
– Fall brings the blooming of sage and rabbit brush adding yellow blooms to the landscape.
Sand Wash Basin, CO
- Horses can be difficult to locate within the 160,000 acres of the basin; you may only see the tips of ears poking over a rise.
- Be alert, use binoculars.
- Develop a familiarity with the landscape.
- The most active times of the day are just after sunrise until about 11 am and late afternoon until sunset.
- Horses gravitate to certain areas in different parts of the year due to water availability.
- Respect the animals by staying at least 100’ away and using a longer lens.
– Getting closer creates tension within the group and alters their behavior.
Safety in Wild Spaces
- Traversing the dirt roads that run through the basin but can become extremely treacherous with just a little rain.
- Be sure to download an offline version of maps to your phone as cellular signals are spotty to none.
- Take precautions and let people know where you are (going to be) and when.
- Be alert and respectful of the animals.
- Do NOT try to tempt the animals with food, don’t interfere, and keep your distance.
- Keep your compositions tight on the horses, but give your subjects room to breathe, especially in front.
- Be aware of your environment, this is not a day in the park.
- Don’t forget the landscapes! Think of the horses as you would trees. Position them in the environment to create the composition you want.
- Pay attention to the interplay of the sky with elements of the landscape.
- Enjoy the time you spend in this environment with these majestic animals!
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