A few years ago I spent a lot of time at my local nature reserve, Attenborough Nature reserve; it has a lot of wildlife, and is well worth a visit on any occasion, but it also plays host to a rescued pony that is looked after by a third party. Now I need to make one thing very clear – the image below, and my description of it is purely artistic interpretation. This is an incredibly well looked after animal, visited daily by her owner who has decades of experience looking after ponies.
However, she is a rescue. That information immediately changes my perception of the scene I photographed the other day. She appears to have an eye complaint that is causing a dark discharge, but when caught in black and white, with her head angled down and among the reeds it looks as though she is crying black tears. The darkness of her past treatment perhaps?
There were several aspects to this image that were made during post processing in Lightroom – first, the cover on her back is actually purple, so I de-saturated it to fit with her colour more seamlessly. I also darkened the greens of the grass to create the effect that she is surrounded by darkness. The harsh, sharp edges add to the feel of vicious memories all around her. Finally I selected just her with the brush tool and adjusted the clarity and contrast to really bring out the detail on her face and neck. The composition of the photo was just a case of waiting and watching, and I was able to isolate her in the background by using a 150 – 500 mm sigma lens.
So there we are, an artistic interpretation that is a little dark perhaps. I must stress again that this animal is incredibly well looked after and has very devoted care. Usually, she is very happy…
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*Originally published on 18th June 2017