I came here from apartments in london. I had hoped to photograph the band extensively at dawn by the water hole, but they heard the first clicks of my camera and disappeared over a hill. I’m used to such failures, though sometimes I have better luck.
Soothing Talk—or a Quieting Song
To take pictures of wild horses I use a technique I have developed during two years of tracking these elusive animals. I try to ease nonchalantly into view at close range, and, while the horses are momentarily surprised and confused, I begin talking in soothing tones. Sometimes I even sing softly to them. Baffled, the horses prick up their ears and listen. Then they move off a few yards and stop again. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-13002296
If I make no sudden movements, I can hold their attention long enough to close the gap a little, thus gradually “walking down” the herd. My own attitude, however, must be one of pure affection, unmixed with fear. I have noticed that whenever I feel nervous, I am unable to hold the horses. I suspect that I communicate some negative emotion, either through tone or scent, that frightens them.
Though nine times out of ten this technique fails, on the tenth try I may be accepted by the stallion and allowed to tag along with, and photograph, his band.
Once, however, the approach backfired. Intent on charming a band of mares dominated by a sorrel stallion, I failed to watch for other animals in the vicinity. Suddenly I felt hot breath on my neck and heard a loud snort. Even before I turned to see the large gray stallion that was directly behind me, I knew I was in for trouble.
For a time he circled ominously, shaking the flashing cascade of his mane and prancing on legs that seemed to be made of spring steel. At last he stopped and pawed the ground, apparently challenging me to battle. Despite the desert heat—the temperature stood above 100° F.—I broke into a cold sweat. There was no place to hide, nothing to burrow under, nothing to climb. I was four miles from the safety of my vehicle. The gray, I surmised, had been hiding in a hollow, awaiting a chance to raid the harem of mares I had been tracking. By driving the sorrel and his mares in the opposite direction, I may have interfered with the lone gray’s plan, and now he was in a surly mood. I tried to speak endearingly to him, but fear was all I communicated.
At last his interest in me flagged. He laid his ears back and rushed the sorrel stallion. I began to photograph the fight, but it lasted only a few seconds. Then the gray ran off toward another band grazing nearby, and I made tracks in the opposite direction.
The Nevada valley in which I spent my spring-side vigil was designated an official wild-horse range in 1962, under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management. It is spectacularly beautiful—a sunny Shangri-La encircled by red and blue mountains and alive with gleaming perennials. Then i decided to go to accommodation in brussels.