Monday, June 13, 2011

Lipizzans and Lusitanos How Much Fun Can a Girl Take

White Horses, Dramatic Lighting. I am so there. Wearing my editorial photographer's hat, I attended the "World Famous" Lipizzaner Stallion show that came to Portland on Saturday June 11th.  The show was held at the Rose Garden in the midst of Portland's annual Rose Festival festivities.
These three images are just a sneak peek, the rest of the photos are under wraps until the August issue of Flying Changes magazine which will feature an article and more photos.

Portugal Travels  I was so busy that I neglected to post anything about my trip to Portugal and it's not that it wasn't fabulous, it was, perhaps too fabulous which took a long time to digest what all had happened to me and how I felt about it, not to mention the thousands of images to go through will be an ongoing process.  In a nutshell, I really enjoyed Portugal and would love to go back. It is just that kind of country.   As a small point, I didn't so much care for driving as the otherwise peaceful and kind people get very impatient once behind the wheel of their cars.  The motorways and roads and frequent roundabouts with a variety of choices always seemed to come so fast and our GPS was very slow on the pace. In fact, the GPS was fired.  Don't let that deter you from driving on your own visit, we had a full schedule and were relying on GPS co-ordinates instead of old fashioned American directions.   The architecture is fabulous, from a lowly little garden house to a grand castle each had its own charm.  Staircases, walls, trees, gardens, typical homes all so full of antiquity and beautiful design.  The exterior siding of some homes was all tile with the vast majority being red roof with white stucco siding, very beautiful to see a whole town that way.  So many castelos and palacios that I now know where Disney land got their inspiration for their famous fairytale castle look.  Not built on fantasy, but someplace very real.  Adding to the scenery were orange, lemon, olive, cork and eucalyptus trees growing amidst the rolling green hills of springtime. 

Imagine being able to photograph a horse and rider performing levade, piaffe and passage in the gardens of a historic palace with, of course, the palace in the background.   Some may not believe that my images are not photoshopped.  There is no need, it was all there in front of my lens.
Photographing Lusitano Stallions, Mares and foals in typical Portuguese landscapes.  Bull fighting horses at liberty (migosh they are athletic in that uphill proud, expressive kinda way) and under saddle. Being ridden by (and in) a lagoon, and by the sea. The list goes on and on.

  I traveled over the course of 10 days to Portugal, in April/May, traveling with a group of horse photographers,amateurs and professionals from 11 different countries,  all of us attending a workshop called Lusitanos on Focus with international equine photographer Paula da Silva.   I stayed in historic castles, toured and photographed several breeding farms and classical training facilities, arrived by boat to an island where young Lusitano, Arabian and very rare Sorraia colts all run free to mature in a herd situation. Everywhere we went, we were treated to a long table set with wine, olives and good eats for our daily lunches. The best food by far was that offered by the farms vs the hotels.  I came home with several gifts, tokens of kindness and generosity of the people we met.  One evening was spent at the historic farm of Nuno Oliviera. We watched a couple of horses being ridden and then were treated to a fine dinner, some rather potent wine and a special treat of live Fado music.  It all made for a memorable evening.  I just wish I wasn't so tired at the time.  Jet lag and a blistering schedule were catching up with me or I would have enjoyed doing some night photography at the farm and begging for just one more song.
Some of our access to incredible photographic opportunities were by government permit only, which took several months for the workshop givers to process.  So they were a rare opportunity for some wonderful experiences and imagery.
One such visit was to a Portuguese army base at Mafra where we were able to photograph them working their Lusitano horses under saddle and in long reins. The horses are used in exhibitions. With the current economic crisis in Portugal, the future of the Lusitanos in the Army is in question.  it would be a shame to lose them, they are a living historical treasure.

I continue to work with several of my images and will be offering them as fine art prints once I get my collection together.  Inquiries are welcome.

I have made a couple of slideshows of 3 of the places I visited while in Portugal. 
Portuguese School of Equestrian Art, The National Palace, Queluz  
 A morning at Quinta da Lagoalva Farm in Portugal

Some of the images from the workshop participants will appear in a Canon Colorfoto Exhibition in Portugal.  Exhibiting elsewhere in Europe, South America and the USA is also in the works.

1 comment:

Lisa Tatsuko said...

beautifully done - terribly envious! :-)
* Lisa