Wild Horse Silver Gelatin B&W Fine Art
It was a cold winter morning in the heart of the Missouri Ozark Mountains. The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is home to 4 herds of wild horses in this ancient and rugged landscape.
February is typically some of the coldest days of the year, and this day was no exception.
I had been hiking near the confluence of the Current and Jack's Fork rivers a little before daybreak, and I wasn't having any luck finding the wild horses. I decided to backtrack and hike inland toward a recently discovered trail.
The temperature was way below freezing, and I was cold down to my bones. My fingers and feet were hurting, but I got so lost trying to find the wild horses that I quickly let go of the pain.
I was about to give up and head back to my truck when I got a slight scent of the wild horses. Immediately all of my senses were on full alert. I started panning and looking in every direction to see if I could find a clue.
My eyes were watering from the cold, so I wiped them and pushed on to try and follow their scent. It is difficult to explain in words, but I can often smell the wild horses before seeing them. I am used to the typical smells in the nearly untouched rugged landscape of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Very few people venture off the well-known rivers that are popular in the summers for floating and kayaking.
I decided to listen to my gut and hike towards an opening on the other side of the woods. I worked my way through the understory of the dense forest and got to the edge of the woods near a clearing where I had found the horses in the past.
A winter storm was moving in, so I was concerned I may not be able to hike back to my truck in time before the storm got too bad. I thought I would trust my senses and wait here for a little while to see what could happen.
No sooner than mulling over these thoughts--there she was!
A beautiful mare was enjoying the crisp winter morning, trying to find something to eat. Heavy frost was blanketing the field, and I could see her breath as she looked directly into my eyes. We locked eyes, and my heart started to race, and I could feel my breathing pattern begin to get faster. It felt like the world had stopped, and this entire experience plays out in slow motion when I think about it to this day. It is like I can see every frame in this short little movie.
I lifted my camera to my eye and captured this unique and timeless moment with just a single exposure. It was over as fast as it started. The entire experience was a matter of a few seconds.
I will never forget my experience with this magnificent mare; moments like this make me feel alive and want to keep coming back. I can only hope through my dedication to raising awareness about the Wild Horses of Missouri, and all wild horses in America, that they can continue to live wild and free in spite of being under a steady stream of political and legal attacks. I am hopeful that my grandkids and future generations can have moments like this with future generations of wild horses.
"Beautiful Storm" is a limited edition of 100 handmade silver gelatin black and white fine art gallery print that I created using my pure analog workflow as described in the section below.
16"x20" Print** Hand Mounted on 24"x28" Museum Quality Board
Ready to display in a 24"x28" frame of your choice
** Frame not included
Silver Gelatin B&W Archival Fiber Print on Ilford Warmtone Semi-Matte
Selenium Toned & Processed to Musem Standards
The artwork is titled and signed by Tim Layton and comes with a certificate of authenticity.
Your new artwork is hinge-mounted with a window overmat and placed in an archival sleeve.
Your new artwork is ready to be mounted in a 24"x28" frame and displayed in your home or office.
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In our digital society, it is rare and uncommon to find handmade original wild horse artwork created using analog methods in the darkroom. The entire photography community has long forgotten about analog film and darkroom methods and embraced digital and computer-based methods. I have stayed the course and continued to refine my craft over the last four decades.
My son, Tim Jr., is my assistant, and he is becoming a master printer under my direction. We work together to create unique and handmade wild horse fine art silver gelatin collectible artwork, and he will continue our work when I am unable to at some point in the hopefully distant future.