World renowned fine art photographer Matthew Seed – The Horse Photographer – reaches out once again to the Chinese market, showcasing a magnificent display of his work in a recent edition of Horsemanship Magazine.
One of Matthew’s main inspirations is the English painter, George Stubbs, to whom he has often been referred to. Painters such as Stubbs have the advantage of being able to interpret what they see and often paint in a beautiful light to highlight the horse’s powerful muscles or topline. By using flash and sculpting the light around the horse Matthew is able to emulate this style of painting, typical of the Old Masters, such as Stubbs.
‘Most importantly, I knew that sculpting light would provide the authenticity that post production techniques, such as Photoshop, could never achieve, particularly when shooting outdoors. I’m not a believer in “cheating” in post production software. I learnt my craft using film cameras and I was taught to get it right in camera and with good lighting,’ said Matthew.
‘Horses are beautiful animals to photograph but it often takes some time to earn their trust and my aim is to form a bond and understand each horse I photograph in order to capture their essence.’
Matthew has developed his unique skill over many years and has a true affinity with the horse. Photographers all over the world have tried to emulate Matthews style of photography which he has found flattering, however as yet they have been unable to capture the subtleness of his lighting technique together with the working partnership and bond he forms with each horse.
‘I could never have achieved this in the early part of my career, its taken over 25 years of studying very high end lighting techniques and shooting for some of the biggest brands and agencies in the world that has helped me develop the instinct for lighting that is required.’
For Matthew the most important factor is always the horse not just the style. To connect, to understand and to capture the horses personality is vital – without these essential elements all the dramatic lighting in the world would be wasted.
What is the most important factor in The Horse Photographers work?
‘To ensure that I take time to connect with every horse I photograph and to truly present them in their best light.’