Black and White

Black and White

As a photographer and a lover of art, I have always loved looking at a good black and white image.

I like how, sometimes, when you remove the color, the true intent of the image just pops out at you with power.

There is something in the simplicity of a black and white image that makes it feel complex — makes it something you can stare at for hours to find all the details.

At the recent Equine Photographers photography retreat in Wyoming, I felt several of the images come through my lens in black and white — even though they were made in color. That doesn’t happen as much any more – I spend  more time in the colorful realm it seems.

Years ago, I used to buy black and white film to make a black and white image — I had to choose between black and white or color. With digital technology, you get to have both, so the image can tell you how it wants to be seen. Sometimes, I forget to listen. That’s what makes retreats like this one so powerful — you can take the time to really create, listen, feel the images.

Here are some more of the black and whites from this same photo shoot:

Mane

Mane

by Kimberly Beer

The revelation to
your deepest secrets
can be found
in the mane
of a horse,
each tangle
an unraveling
of a question
you didn’t even know
how to ask.

Dawn’s Horses

Dawn’s Horses

This is a composite image from several different scenes — Estes Park, Colorado, Canyon De Chelly, Arizona and the Black Hills of South Dakota plus a touch, just a touch, of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

For the Photoshop aficionados, this is a layered file of 4 photographs with varying transparency. I then added a mask to each layer to bring out or hide the details I wanted. When I had the feel right there, I added a vignette. After the vignette, I compressed the layers, I duplicated that layer, added a dry brush filter, altered the transparency, merged those two layers, added a highlight edges filter, altered the transparency and then merged the layers again. I then go in by hand and do some touch ups. Viola, several hours later — Dawn’s Horses. I may still go back and tinker. I always save my layers in progress so I can go back to the bottom and start over if I want.

Below is a copy you can blow up by clicking on it:

Love is Red

Love is Red

It never ceases to amaze me — the connection between women and horses.

This photo was made in Montana two years ago. It was early, early morning. The girl in the image is a real cowgirl. She works with horses for a living — and by living, I mean in more ways than just as an income. The mare in the image is her horse. I love that about the image, because the emotion is real and you can feel it, even though you can’t see the cowgirl’s face.

When a woman connects with a horse, it is different than a man. Not better. Not worse. Just different. Women and horses share something on a deep level, something untouchable by logic. Maybe it’s the intimate knowledge of what it’s like to be prey. Maybe it’s the instinctual comfort of two beings sharing an sentient journey. It’s expression is beauty and love realized and I’m honored to be able to tell the story of that expression through my lens.

The Prince Behind Me

The Prince Behind Me

All my life I’ve waited for just one prince
the one in stories
the charming one
the one who will save the day.

All my life I’ve waited for just one moment
the one that changes everything
the magic one
the one that will make it all worth while.

All my life I’ve waited for just one word
the one that means the most
the simple one
the one that means I am loved.

Today, as I walk in a simple circle
I’ve found the one
within myself
in that one moment
the one word
walked behind me
his name was Horse.


There is an interesting story to go with this poem.

I wrote it on January 18, 2014.

IMG_5396On November 22, 2014, the guy in the picture came into my life from a neighbor. He was billed as just a horse. That’s all I was looking for … a horse. A horse that I could ride and feel comfortable on. I agreed to “try” him weeks before he was delivered. During that time, there was poor communication between his seller and myself and just before he came to me, there was a moment when it appeared he would be delivered to another home. I was fine with that, because I knew if he were the horse that belonged with me, he’d find his way here.

He did. In the middle of the craziness of selling one farm, putting together a temporary place to live, and dealing with a world of real estate closing hell. He showed up in my round pen. I met him. I rode him. I fell in love.

Since, Prince has proven he is more than “just a horse.” (They all are, really). He has proven to be a healer — for me and for others. He is EGCMethod Coach Vicki Jurica’s go-to guy on the ranch when a client needs a healing experience. He is truly amazing.

Call it prophecy. Call it fate. Call it a wish made to the universe. He is my Prince.