A combination of planning, collaboration, hard work, and luck produced a wonderful Fine Art Photography exhibit called The Wild Horses of Idaho – Mustangs of the East Fork and Challis Basin. It premiered at the MESH Gallery at Heritage Hall in Ketchum, Idaho on Saturday night (May 26th, 2018).
After eight months of planning and reconnaissance by MESH Art, Claire Porter and Jeff Lubeck conducted a multi-day photo-shoot in the Mountains of Idaho. In less than a one-weeks time the photographic artworks were created, printed, framed, and placed in the gallery for display. The exhibit includes a back-story narrative, maps, and behind the scenes photos. The exhibit will be on display through June 17th, 2018.
The Mustang is a free-roaming horse of the American West. It is a decedent of horses brought to America by the Spanish. Technically the Mustang is considered a feral horse given its domesticated linage.
See my Post Wild Horse Reconnaissance for more background on the Challis Herd and logistics of the photo-shoot.
Claire and I learned on the first day of the photo-shoot that in our excitement at 3 to 5 miles distance
- Big rock boulders that look like horses are big rock boulders.
- Free roaming cattle that look like horses are free roaming cattle.
- Speeding Chevy Pickup trucks travelling in the back-country that look like horses are speeding Chevy Pickup trucks travelling in the back-country.
- With the aid of binoculars, what looks like a herd of Mustangs is a herd of Mustangs.
The Mustangs we identified were feeding in the upper reaches of the Challis Basin. The reach them we traveled off road in back-country on unimproved 4 wheel drive trails for 3-4 miles and 1-2 miles on foot.
The Mustang herd encountered is comprised of 74 horses – 68 adults and 6 foals.
Claire is an experienced horse person and superb equine Fine Art Photographer. I am neither. For this adventure my best decision is to shut up, follow instructions, and learn.
Claire predicted there would be a scout team of Mustangs who’s job is singular; check us out to ensure we are no threat to the herd. Sure enough the scout team would greet us each day. On the 2nd day of the photo-shoot Claire sat amongst the herd for an extended period. The scout team moved in, surrounded Claire, and circled her three times. The scout team at one-point was less than 40 feet from Claire.
Day one of the photo-shoot brought warm temperatures to the mountains for May. The 75+ degree for was enjoyable and the horses seemed very active. I learned first-hand that horse-play by horses is rougher than its human siblings equivalent. The male stallions were nothing short of aggressive in their courting of eligible females
Each day of the photo-shoot brought sunny weather with isolated thunderstorms. Some of the weather-fronts dumped heavy, heavy rain for short periods of time. The weather conditions made for interesting skies, and a variety of light conditions.
Some to Watch Over Us by Claire Porter of Porter Lubeck. © Copyright Claire Porter Photography and MESH Art LLC – all right reserved.
The Talent by Jeffrey H. Lubeck of Porter Lubeck. © Copyright Claire Porter Photography and MESH Art LLC – all rights reserved.
One Step Ahead by Jeffrey H. Lubeck of Porter Lubeck. © Claire Porter Photography and MESH Art LLC – all rights reserved.