I’ve had a whole raft of horse show mini-posters over the years, little things that I run off on the color copier at Kinkos that I can staple them to the bulletin boards at horse shows. Some have been literally works of art, a favorite photo or painting emblazoned with a directive: Sign Up for Photos. Because they’re small, usually 8.5×11, I know that if I can see them from across the ring I’ve chosen the right image.
When I first started using a computer in my business (yes, there really WAS photography before computers!) The only graphics I had available were simple little bits of clip art, designed for simplicity and teensy file size. The first computer sign I made used two cartoon eyes and at the top, the phrase, “Ever Had the Feeling You Were Being Watched?” Below the eyes was my logo. I had the brilliant idea of putting these on the inside of the doors to the porta-potties at the Radnor Three Day Event. That day, 20 years ago, after I installed the first sign, someone stepped in to use the facilities and I heard a whoop of laughter as she came face to face with the eyes, so I knew I was on to something. I used that concept until technology evolved and I was able to create more sophisticated signage.
After years of using images that I though were the most powerful, elegant, sublime, etc, I decided to revisit my “Watched” sign, but using a real photo this time:
Here’s the cool thing about this photo: I did NO RETOUCHING on it! This is what I – and perhaps Sandrina – saw, the moment after Jan Ebeling dismounted after his ride. She turned to look at him, and for an instant he was reflected in the orb of her eye. Here’s a detail:
There’s no compositing, no superimposing one image on another. The moment was just a gift from above.
I think I’ve spent pieces of many days since trying to find that lighting, that angle again.