Website & places you can find my work online
I wish that I could say I have a beautiful website with a slide show and music but I can’t say that “yet”. I love to take pictures of horses. I share some of them on Facebook for everyone to enjoy.
Where I am
I live in a little one horse town, Tryon, Oklahoma which is just a ways south of Stillwater, home of Oklahoma State University and the Cowboys.
Tell us a little about you, what is your background & where do you come from?
I was bred, born and raised right here on the homestead that my folks acquired in the Oklahoma Land Run of 1891. I was a horseshoer and blacksmith for 36 years.
When did you take your first picture?
About 15 years ago my daughter handed me an old 35 mm camera and said here Dad, go take some pictures of the horses.
I didn’t even know how to operate it for sure but through trial and error I was able to spend a small fortune on getting film developed. I literally have boxes full of negatives and photos.
What kind of camera do you use?
I use a 20 D Canon with 50-150 1:2.8 lenses.
If you could pick any camera (regardless of price) what would it be?
If I could pick any camera, oh golly, I’d be like a kid at a Toys R Us store. I would research that very carefully as there are lots of great cameras to pick from but I’m sure it would be the best that Canon makes.
Who are your main influences?
All the photographers that you have interviewed are an influence to me but to pick a photographer that interested me the most would be Ansel Adams. What an adventure he was on. His vision and contribution of his art, to me has made him a pioneer and inspirator for today’s photography.
What made you first start photographing horses?
As to why I photograph horses, gosh kid, that’s all I know. Horses have been my way of life.
Being around them all the time I get to see things that are common to me but uncommon to a lot of folks. To capture a moment and to share it with people makes it fun and worthwhile.
Are you an equal opportunity photographer or is it exclusively horses?
I’d say I’m an equal opportunity type guy. I love to take pictures of little kids, they’re so unassuming to a certain age. Dogs are always lots of fun, I like for them to show up no matter what I’m doing. I’ll make sure I get’em in the shots. I also find old barns interesting.
Do you (or did you) have an animal that is the muse behind your work?
As for muses, yes, there are actually two, but to pick one it would be three mares running through a field of rye grass, “A Carefree Race”. The boys were bringing in the band of brood mares for me to trim their feet as they had done so many times, me knowing the habit of the situation of the horses stampeding to the catch pen, I got myself situated and snapped off a roll of film as they raced by. 1 out of 24 ain’t bad. I entered the picture in a photo contest and won best of show. That did it; I’ve been hooked ever since
Where were you the most inspired, but without a camera?
That was before I started taking pictures. I had the pleasure of visiting friends on a ranch in the Co. Rockies. They took me horse back way back deep in the mountains. I was there a week, and of all my years I had never seen such sights. Hope I can make it back someday, with camera in hand.
What effect do you think the Internet will have on art and photography?
Being raised in the era of listening to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio and a television was something only the banker had.
It absolutely blows my mind as to how small the world really is, to be able to communicate with someone on the other side of planet in a cyber second. It’s something my grandchildren take for granted. It’s a great tool.
Has it had an effect on yours?
Yes Paige, it most definitely has had an effect. It got me to right here doing this interview, the biggest thing that’s happened to me as far as my photography is concerned.
Which one is your personal favorite image?
I take a lot of pictures and can’t wait to get home to see what I have and to find that favorite and every time, there it is. That right there keeps me going back for more.
What else are you passionate about?
My other passions are Christ, my Savior, Sandra, my wife of 46 years, my kids and grand kids.
Working on anything new?
Each day is a new project, experimenting and improving my camera skills, figuring out ways to get my photography seen and to see if I can make a meager living at just having fun.
More to Come
Thanks to Gary for answering the interview and sharing his work. Be sure to check out his Facebook profile periodically to see some of his latest pics.
Also stay tuned for more interviews with horse artists and photographers.
Are you a horse artist or do you know an equine artist you’d like to see featured? Add your name and website in the comments below or drop me a note to get involved.