Introducing ‘Zorro’ the latest equestrian artistic alchemy by world renowned fine art photographer Matthew Seed – The Horse Photographer.
This latest piece of fine art showcases Zorro a 4 year old black stallion owned by Jennifer Whittaker and standing at stud at White Hill Stud, a purpose built facility in the beautiful Ribble Valley in Lancashire. The stud is dedicated to breeding modern dressage and eventing horses of the highest quality. Their selective breeding program aims to produce horses with exceptional rideability, soundness and temperaments using the finest bloodlines in Europe.
‘As this is Zorro’s first season standing at stud I needed an image for promotional purposes that would stand out and be a little different. I wanted them to capture the essence of his character, personality and conformation,’ said Jennifer Whittaker.
‘I first noticed Matthew’s work a couple of years ago and loved the style of his photographs. Zorro is the epitome of a black stallion, I thought the combination of his dramatic colour along with Matthew’s unique lighting technique would create an exquisite work of art.’
‘Matthew is extremely professional and has an incredible affinity with the horse. On the day of the shoot Matthew worked quickly and precisely to achieve exactly what I requested and without any rush. Zorro really enjoyed the shoot and loved showing off! He is only 4 but Matthew managed to keep his attention the whole time and make him feel relaxed throughout.’
‘The photographs were absolutely stunning and I was over the moon with the results. The shots were exactly what I wanted and envisaged. Matthew managed to capture Zorro’s personality and provide me with specific head and conformation shots that I needed.’
‘I would definitely recommend Matthew to others and can’t wait to have him back to take photographs of the mares and foals in the summer.’
One of Matthew’s main inspirations is the English painter, George Stubbs, to whom he has often been referred to.
‘Painters such as Stubbs have the advantage of being able to interpret what they see and often paint in a beautiful light to highlight the horse’s powerful muscles and topline’ said Matthew.
‘By using flash and sculpting the light around the horse I am able to emulate this style of painting, typical of the Old Masters, such as Stubbs, and in doing so I was able capture the essence of Zorro.’
Sculpting light provides the authenticity that post production techniques, such as Photoshop, could never achieve, particularly when shooting outdoors.
‘Horses are beautiful animals to photograph but it often takes some time to earn their trust and my aim is to form a bond and understand each horse I photograph in order to capture their essence.’
Matthew has developed his unique skill over many years and has a true affinity with the horse. Photographers all over the world have tried to emulate Matthew’s style of photography which he has found flattering, however as yet they have been unable to capture the subtleness of his lighting technique together with the working partnership and bond he forms with each horse.
For Matthew the most important factor is always the horse not just the style. To connect, to understand and to capture the horse’s personality is vital – without these essential elements all the dramatic lighting in the world would be wasted.
What is the most important factor in The Horse Photographer’s work?
‘To ensure that I take time to connect with every horse I photograph and to truly present them in the best light.’