The Art of Photography

Lucky Southern Maryland Horse Association Show 2010

I appreciate the art of photography, which is one of the reasons I chose this form of “illustration” for  my novel, Believing In Horses. Besides the fact that the story is modern and photographic images are intertwined in the plot, I truly value what it takes to capture a good photograph. I studied photography in high school, college, and at the Defense Information School and understand the supposed qualities of good pictures. I also know that I can’t take a good picture to save my life, which may help explain why I appreciate the art form so much.I love the picture here, whether it follows all the conventions of the “rule of thirds,” contrast, or not.

This picture, to me, tells a story. The position of the horse’s head, the slightly tattered barn door, the garment bag peeking out from behind the last ribbons — they all tell us something about that exact moment in time. I happen to know the story, which makes it easier, but I would hope that even the casual observer could view this photo and feel like it meant something.

My husband took this photo, and he has the eye for photography that I don’t. He took many of the photographs for my book, including the one used on the cover. He doesn’t see himself as a photographer — just a person capturing moments. He’s captured some so well that I’m entering them in the Equine Ideal:  Winter 2011 Online Photography Contest amateur division. We’ll see; he’s already won with this judge. I’ve also encouraged my friend, Martha Rhoades-Spivey, MRS Photography, LLC, to enter the professional division. If you’ve seen her photos, you would certainly understand why.  I’m just happy that they don’t have to compete against each other!

I remember my high school humanities teacher saying: “Music is the finest form of art, because music can be beautiful without meaning. A C flat has no meaning.”

I don’t argue with that, and didn’t at the time, thinking it very insightful. But today, just a few years later, I would ask, “But is the C flat ALONE beautiful?”

Our choices of what is art, and the finest forms of art, are clearly up to us. They don’t have to compete.  They can all win.


  1. Howdy! You have an awesome website!!! I will definitely come back soon.

  2. The pictures in the book are absolutely amazing and award worthy. Photographing horses is particularly difficult, but these all capture that special essence. Your husband is talented!


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