The Blessing of a Photographic Eye

Restar Fell Pony filly with Joe Langcake copyright and courtesy Craig Humble

Restar Fell Pony filly with Joe Langcake copyright and courtesy Craig Humble

In 2012 I had the great good fortune to see some photographs taken by Craig Humble.  The subjects were diverse – from barges to farm tractors to sheep dogs.  It didn’t seem to matter what Craig pointed his camera at – his eye allowed him to capture the subject with so much life as to make his photos striking.  Then one day I saw some pictures Craig had taken of a bearded collie.  There just happened to be some Fell Ponies in the background, and the seed of an idea formed.  What if Craig could be convinced to take pictures of my favorite Fell Pony herd?

Craig had never photographed equines before, but a mutual friend presented the idea, and Craig indicated he was game to try.  I lost hope several times over the next few months until one day I learned that a date had indeed been set, and Craig was due to meet up with Joe Langcake of the Restar Fell Pony Stud.  The next few days I was in heaven as images began to appear in my email inbox of ponies that I had heard about but never met because they’d been born since I had last visited the Restar herd.  The images were beautiful, despite a challenging weather day.  Craig once again proved that having an eye behind a camera lens is a gift worth sharing.

One of the ponies that Craig photographed was Restar Lucky Joe, the stud colt that is a once-in-a-lifetime addition to the Willowtrail Farm Fell Pony herd.  Craig’s visit to the Restar stud turned out to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, too; Joe Langcake has since put all but one of his ponies on the market, so the chance to photograph this herd that was more than twenty years in the making is now past.

I’m very thankful that Craig has given me permission to share the images of Restar Lucky Joe in a video slide show.  To view it, click here.  Several of Craig’s images can also be found in my book Fell Ponies:  Observations on the Breed, the Breed Standard, and Breeding (click here).  The image shown above is of Joe Langcake with one of his Restar fillies.  Note the swallows in mid-air, the sort of detail that sets Craig’s photographs apart.

I very much hope I get to see what Craig puts his photographic eye to next.  I know that whatever it is I will find it interesting, because Craig has proven that even if I thought barges for instance weren’t interesting, he can make them so.

I am grateful to my friend Eddie McDonough for introducing me to Craig and facilitating Craig’s photography of the Restar Fell Pony herd.

© Jenifer Morrissey, 2013

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About workponies

Breeder of Fell Ponies, teamster of work ponies, and author of Feather Notes, Fell Pony News, and A Humbling Experience: My First Few Years with Fell Ponies. Distributor of Dynamite Specialty Products for the health of our planet and the beings I share it with.
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