Saturday, February 17, 2024

Wacahoota at Wykoff


Last Sunday I had the privilege of hiking on a sunny day in the Quehanna Wild Area, in north-central Pennsylvania.  No snow!  New horse!  Practicing taking pictures with the cell phone (I am still seriously behind in this skill).  New-ish hackamore:  This particular piece was made in 2018, and it was never meant to sell.  It's all my own, something that fits every horse in the herd.  It has its own blog post:  Kings Herds Hackamore II.  So, this post will be short, narrow in scope, indulgent and totally cellular.

But what great portraits.

I have shot tack here before:  TSII #442, Medieval Vine.  The wildlife viewing platform (located at the intersection of Quehanna Highway and Wykoff road) is just about perfect for this sport.  It's so much like a barn in its framing that you would never guess you're deep in the forest and miles from anywhere.  I love its warm wood tones and wide sills, just right for the Trad horse.

He makes a particularly good subject for portraits.  The alert ears, the flowing mane, the knowing eye all command attention.  Above all I love the glorious color and gloss!  To be honest, I had the excuse that I needed a nice photo of this particular hackamore for my next book.  I wanted to show the nosepiece up close.  But what I was really doing was playing.

 Playing, playing... wait until there's nobody else there (a few hikers always around), wait even until George has gone off on his own, after birds.  Fiddle with the camera.  Fuss with the reins.  Despite its primitiveness, the cell phone camera does not distort, as my fancy Fuji does.

The first shot taken (second here), showing his forehand, didn't work.  The camera focused on the background.  But the rest of them did work.  The red in the reins and buttons strongly harmonizes with the deep chestnut.  The blue in the nosepiece, actually an accident if you read its post, really makes things pop.  The story behind that blue is so much the classic blessing-in-disguise story!  I gave up on it as a nasty un-finish-able mistake and then decided I loved it as it was...

What a horse!  Yes, this is my first Troubadour.

This is the last shot on location, with me leaning out of the platform and suspending him over the forest floor.

And here's the book shot:

Now, when you read my next book, you'll know how and where this particular photo came from!

Speaking of the book, I just finished the fourth of 8 pieces and am hoping to post a Progress Report in the next week or so.  In this last half of February, eagerly watching the NaMoPaiMo finishers, I am thinking of the first NMPM.   I didn't paint then, but made a piece of tack alongside all the excitement.  I'm in that state now.  Who knows how far I'll be able to get.  My inner heart is in the race and cheering for all.

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