Wild Horses of Corolla: The reDefine Show: Animal Edition! With Tamara Lackey


What we were looking for coming out here is, we’re looking for these colonial Spanish Mustangs. They actually swam on shore from shipwrecks off the coast, and this was around what time do you think? So about five hundred years ago. Five hundred years, and this has been their home for five hundred years. It has, yeah and at one point there was something like five thousand horses roaming the area, but now they’re actually an endangered species. Here in the US, there’s only about eighty five of these horses left, that’s crazy! So we can come round here, ah they are beautiful? How do they feel about us being right here. They don’t mind us too much, and honestly you see different personalities with different staff. Yeah this stallion, since he has three mare’s and he has all these scars on his body, that shows that he’s a confident fighter. Yeah not too worried about the people around but he’s a lover and a fighter! Yes! And this this Humvee? Where’s this from? Saudi, this is military surplus so this one actually is from Desert Storm. So these are fully customized vehicles driving out here, and they’re not the most eco-friendly. But one thing our company does is to offset our CO2 emissions. We plant enough trees each year to offset that. Nice I like it awesome, lets go find some horses! All right! I love this so pretty. They’re just sleeping huh? Mostly. I’m swapping out to the 105mm because I want to get a very shallow depth of field. I want this portrait of the horse popping out from the sea, while this mare is isolated. I just want to get a different look, and to do that, I want to shoot an f/14, but it’s so crazy bright out here, that my shutter speed needs to be really fast. So I’m at 1/8,000th of a second, which is the way I can neutralize the exposure, when shooting at that shallow depth of a field, because I’m still already at an ISO of 100, So we need to be fifty feet away at all times, just to be respectful of the horses. To that end, I’m shooting with a 70-200 mm, which affords me the opportunity to get right up on the horses, without being disrespectful to the space that they need, and I’m shooting with two different cameras, with two different lenses, because I don’t want to have to change my lens, while I’m out here! And it’s sandy, and it’s windy, and I don’t want any possible sand getting in my sensor, and if I have to do a quick lense change to one of them, I’ll just do that in a more protected area where I’m kind of block the sun and the sand. We’re looking for hoof prints, like we’re tracking them. Yeah exactly, and fresh piles of poop are also a good thing. Oh yeah I was looking for the poo….I’m like you, very excited about fresh poop. When we get over this bump, this second bump a good watering hole up there. Oh this is so pretty. So these horses are going through this marshy area, which makes for some really beautiful foreground right here. So shooting with this water and this Marsh in the foreground, it’s just so pretty, and I’m doing all of this in a single shot focus mode, because there’s so much distracting elements that I don’t want to get in the shot, and I want my focus pulled by some of those moving leaves and trees and such. Bring in some of the reflection here, so we have this gorgeous reflection. So I am loving how that’s looking, this is just about a most incredible shot. Get him to look up, and smile, be perfect. That black one’s really pretty stallion, walks in the back watches over the girls. Oh so two things I can do when I’m shooting against the sun. One, I can shoot in a pure silhouette and purposely make it so that they are not exposed for but they’re popping against the sky and with that tail and what that means that it’s definitely something I’m gonna be doing. In addition I can switch to a spot metering, and shoot in a way that I know that it’s backlit, I don’t have a ton of fill traditionally… but I do have all this bright white sand coming up, and so I do get to have some of the bounce from that. That’s helping you get that shot. We had a great time shooting out here on this very bright sunny day. We have no guarantees down here. These are wild horses, and we have to either find them or wait for them, but there is no just walking up to where they’re gonna be, and that was a lot of the fun out here, was being able to track them down, and get these shots!


12 Responses

  1. Mark Thomas

    October 26, 2018 2:28 pm

    Hi Tamara. I attended your local portrait workshop back in May of this year. I went out to Corolla a few years ago to get some pictures of the wild horses, but my trip was no where nearly as successful as yours! I did not get one single pic of a horse! We used the same tour group that you used (Humvees). I went in early April, and it turned out to be one of the coldest days in April. It was wet, cold and apparently not conducive to seeing the horses because drove around and around and didn't see any. Your video gives me some hope that I can return when the weather is nicer and get some great pictures! Thanks. – Mark Thomas

  2. Daniel Curtin

    October 27, 2018 12:10 pm

    Dude, wild horses are not an endangered species in North America. The term is invasive species. They are escaped domesticated livestock. Like the wild hogs of the south but their numbers are much better controlled. See the FWS website if you need a list of actual endangered species.

  3. GE KO

    October 27, 2018 3:42 pm

    That are wild horses where tourists can drive by SUV 30 m close to them? And tamara is talking of using a telephoto lens for not being disrespectful and standing just 50m away? Thats ridiculous

  4. clark conway

    October 27, 2018 9:05 pm

    The 70-200mm didn't do the wild horses justice. I thought the ocean shot of the flock of seagulls was the best photo of the day, with horse on hill a close 2nd. Looked like a hot but fun day!

  5. Syyed Azaaz

    October 28, 2018 5:26 am


    this is syyed azaaz, i have a question,

    Q: if i use lens f/2.8 27-70mm in 1300D CANON Body, so lens has any effect in BODY

    kindly please advise my questions.

    Syyed Azaaz

  6. Miriam McSpadden

    October 30, 2018 5:02 pm

    Wow! Love the photos and how you captured the tension of wild horses living alongside humans. Thank you for bringing to attention making sure to respect them and THEIR space while still getting such beautiful shots. Wish everyone could be this respectful! 🙂


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