Until I look at my photography back at home, I’m never sure exactly how any of it turned out. And when I take my camera and start snapping pictures, I’m never entirely in control of what will be captured through the lens. I may have one idea in mind, but what the camera ends up seeing, or what I see when I look more closely at the subject, might take creativity a different direction altogether. The spontaneity of photography is part of what I find interesting and compelling.
On this unseasonably mild December day, I had to run into Hermosa to make a mail run, and on my way back, Dixie’s horses were standing in our pasture close to the highway. One of them is a beautiful paint gelding named Remington, and with the Black Hills as a backdrop, and scrubby golden grasses in the foreground, I thought a beautiful picture was in order. I pulled over and jumped out of my truck, grabbed my camera, and climbed over the drooping barbed wire fence. I figured on spending a little while poking around in the grass getting pictures of flower heads and then getting close enough to the horses to frame a nice picture. I’d never played with these horses before, and assumed they’d be shy.
No sooner had I knelt in the grass to take a picture of some dried flower tops, Remington was headed eagerly towards me. Apparently the little pony, Dove, isn’t enough of a horse to qualify as a friend for Remington, since the other horse died a few months ago. For the next twenty minutes, Remington wouldn’t let me get far enough away from him to take a good picture. Whenever I knelt down in the grass to get pictures of grasses and things, he came right up next to me and nosed me in the back, or sniffed my head, or just got in my face. He seemed to want to know what I found so interesting, so close to the ground. I looked up once and he was staring right in my eyes, just watching me. If I walked off, he’d follow right behind me. If I stopped, he’d stop with me and wait contentedly. I feel a little sorry for Dove, but Remington just wanted a friend!
Sometimes photography yields things other than photographs.