The Horse as an Emotional Being with Peter Samuels
The work of San Francisco based photographer Peter Samuels consists largely of portraits that expose the deep emotions and powerful beauty of animals such as dogs, cats and horses. In these portraits, everything is in focus so that no detail of the subject’s expressiveness is lost or obscured. This gives the portraits a gravitas that allows them to be as layered and complex as human portraits.
This is especially true of this equine portrait. The pitch-black background provides a stark silhouette of the subject and draws attention to all of its features while eliminating any distractions that might divert the eye away from the beauty and power of the horse’s figure. Taking up most of the frame, the body almost becomes a landscape of its own, with its rippling muscles reminiscent of rolling hills and the flowing mane serving as tall grass blowing in the breeze. These beautiful features show that this horse is as distinctive and individual in its beauty as any human.
At the same time, the horse’s face shows that it is also capable of being as emotive as any human subject. The expressive brown eyes seem to communicate a sort of fear or nervousness, the cause of which can only be speculated. This emotion is also betrayed by the tight, stiff stance that the horse has taken, with its legs locked and close together. Just like a human, the horse attempts to keep these emotions out of sight by hiding its face between its own legs. These very relatable emotions demonstrate that the similarities between animals and humans are much closer than they appear to be on the surface. Like us, they experience strong, universal emotions while still maintaining their own individual identities.
How does this photograph make you feel?