"And may no man’s weight ever lay freight your soul"
April 25, 2012 10:57 AM   Subscribe

All The Wild Horses is a portraiture series by Andrew McGibbon featuring spectacular equine photographs.

[Page scrolls horizontally.]

Favorites include:

SpecialMr Mulholland's Grace Mr MulhollandBeautyFagan
posted by quin (20 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
he should turn this into an ebook.
posted by xbonesgt at 11:02 AM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

Last night I was reading Swift's Gulliver's Travels and boy those photographs remind me of the Houyhnhms. But what would you expect from a Yahoo like me.
posted by Toekneesan at 11:28 AM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

Wow, so great! Some of those horses look underweight to me (Star's Bow and Star, ribs showing) but I am no horse expert. I just like to look at them. And pat them. And comb their hair.
posted by Glinn at 11:58 AM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

That's the first horizontally-scrolling website I've ever appreciated.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:04 PM on April 25, 2012

I didn't think it was possible. He makes horses look ugly. (Only to me, I am sure others find them beautiful).

He is clearly very talented, and it can't be easy to set up all those shots. But I find some of those twisted neck angles (Velvet's Grace for example) disturbing. And "Favour" (the scared looking horse with the hair drier) just looks comical. They all look artificial, with the colored lighting, sterile backgrounds and high dynamic range. But I suppose that's the point.

I do like the sideways scrolling though, so that each face can peer round a corner at you. That was a nice touch.

Just an opinion. I know nothing about horse photography, as you probably noticed.
posted by EnterTheStory at 12:04 PM on April 25, 2012

All of them?
posted by cmoj at 12:08 PM on April 25, 2012

When the description of the paper you print on is longer than the full name of the Prince of Wales, you might be focusing on the wrong thing.
posted by notsnot at 12:21 PM on April 25, 2012

I'm afraid these left me a bit cold, with the exception of "Bolshevik", which is beautiful and actually uses the lighting to good effect. I dunno...they were kind of cold and lifeless and didn't really capture what is so awesome about horses in general, and these horses is particular.

(and seeing some ribs on horses doesn't mean they are necessarily underweight)
posted by biscotti at 12:35 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

I liked this a lot!
posted by OmieWise at 12:38 PM on April 25, 2012

posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 1:22 PM on April 25, 2012

No soft eyes - no easy ears - icky horse body language here. Gorgeous animals - but none of them seem content in the moment any of these photos were taken. My horses turn toward their bellies like that when there's a fly bugging them, they've got an itch - or they ate too much. And what did the guy do - coat them in vegetable oil? The "effects" take away from their inherent natural beauty imo.

Sorry ... just an honest opinion from a horse person. Meh....
posted by cdalight at 1:37 PM on April 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

posted by GeorgeBickham at 2:11 PM on April 25, 2012

Another ugh from another horse person. It's not easy to take consistently ugly photos of horses but this man has managed to do it.
posted by grounded at 2:55 PM on April 25, 2012

I think Star is just young rather than underweight-- less than a year, if looks don't deceive.

I am not a fan of the bluish lighting or the silicone-sprayed coats, but clearly the textures and contours appealed to the artist.

However, I am now filled with a city dweller's sad longing to hold my hand out to a horse and have it put its ears forward and snorfle my palm with its nose. I don't even care that I'd end up covered in horse snot. So maybe the art has done its work.
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:09 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

As a "horse person" I find them interesting, but very contrived.

Regards the horses mentioned:
Star appears extremely fit rather than thin. I wouldn't want any less weight, but he's about a 5 (out of 10) on the body weight scale. Americans tend to want their horses overweight.

Favor doesn't look scared--I think it's the light glinting off his eye making it appear white that might suggest that, but I love the "hair dryer" assessment.

Velvet's Grace neck indeed looks grotesque--but if you notice, she's ancient and extremely swayback, so she may have something going on with her muscling. She, and Fabulous' Grace, both have "horns" the bosses above the eye, which is rather rare. The Moyle horse breed is noted for them.

Some of the tension appears to come from the horses' response to the trainer. There's quite a few 'listening' ears indicating obedience.

What I really object to is the title and the quote. These are far from wild horses, with their braided manes, trained responses, and well-groomed, glossy hides.

And that bloody stupid quote "no man's reigns ever chain you." GAH!! It's REINS, people, not reigns!! One's a length of leather, nylon, braided horse hair, or rope used to control a horse, and the other is the perquisite of royalty. Reins are not made of chain. So what is the author trying to say, that he wishes there would be no reins controlling the horse, or that he doesn't want the horse put into chains. Whatever. Bleah.
posted by BlueHorse at 3:19 PM on April 25, 2012 [4 favorites]

I don't really know my horses. But it seemed eerily evocative of looking at portraits of human bodybuilders. You know, strained posing, greased up bodies, veins apparent... Maybe that's just because they're racing horses? Do they have horse steroids?
posted by RedEmma at 4:23 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Horse bodyweight is sometimes hard to judge, especially for non-horse-people. There's a scale, called the Henneke System of Body Condition Scoring, that sort of puts forth "how fat is fat" and what to look for when observing a horse for fatness or thinness. There are a couple of illustrated-with-real-pictures sites out there that explain about the Henneke. Here is one of them. CAUTION: Link has illustrative real pictures of VERY THIN and VERY FAT horses, may upset some people. Horses in real jobs generally range from 4 (endurance riding, racing, cross country, polo) to 7 (halter classes for stock horses).

I agree with BlueHorse, above, these are domestic horses. In many of the more contorted or stretched poses, I expect someone just out of frame is shaking a can of grain or rustling the treat bag or holding out a carrot or something. These pictures would be WAY better if we could see that part, too... dolled up horse, careful lighting and neutral backgrounds, yadda yadda, and then a grubby stable person there tempting horse into pose of the moment, to be cropped at a later point to preserve the illusion. That'd be cool. But we don't get that because pretending that these are "wild" horses is so much cooler. *grumble*

Also, if folks would like to look at real wild horses, some other people actually photograph them.
posted by which_chick at 5:31 PM on April 25, 2012

I have to say, I like Tim Flach's horse photographs much better.
Mr. McGibbon's pictures of musicians have some interesting moments, though.
posted by redsparkler at 5:53 PM on April 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have to agree with some of the other posters here - I consider myself to be somewhat of a connoisseur of horse photos, plus I spent six years cataloging professional photography. These photos are just made to look arty and seem to be more about making the horse's coats as sleek as possible. This lifelong horse lover says Meh!

If you want real wild horses, check out the photography of Barbara Wheeler which highlights the horses in their environment as well as the perils they face in that environment from both man and nature.
posted by Calzephyr at 6:12 PM on April 25, 2012

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