About This Photo
Most people think of Florida as a flat state with little elevation and filled mostly with beaches, golf courses, palm trees and amusement destinations. And in part, that’s true. But Ocala, Florida located in the Northern part of the state is strikingly different with rolling hills covered in lush green grass, white fences, old growth trees and more horses than most of us could ever imagine.
The first Florida horse farm was built here in 1943. Today, Ocala is one of the top thoroughbred horse centers of the world, home to 1,300 horse farms and also one of the largest horse shows in the USA called “Horses in the Sun.”
Awaken the Spirit shows one of those special moments when an animal gradually allows you to become part of their world. This photo was made during a week-long photo assignment for a horse show. Before I began work I stopped at this same horse farm each day before sunrise to admire the animals and was constantly drawn to the beauty and dignity of this particular horse. Although I’d move slowly and talk quietly as I walked along the fence, whenever I’d come within 200′ (61 m) he would quickly turn and gallop away.
On the final day of the assignment, I again arrived before sunrise but this time no horses were visible anywhere in the fields. I setup the cameras however, and waited. Eventually, he appeared out of a heavy fog, walked directly toward me and stood staring and almost close enough to touch. As I talked quietly explaining how I’d like to photograph him, he turned, walked to an adjacent fence and rested his head on the rails. Soon after, the first rays of sunlight appeared and as they highlighted the colors on his tail and mane I pressed the shutter.
[For more information on Ocala, Florida visit the Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce website at clicking here.]
Equipment: Canon 50D and Canon 300mm F/4.0 L lens