No. 31 – Wild Horses

Wild Horses at Chincoteague and Assateague Island National Seashore. The herd on Chincoteague is managed by the volunteer fire company, which has an annual round up, sells off foals every year as a way of controlling the size of the herd and of raising money to support the fire company. When we visited we were not able to get close to the horses at Chincoteague. On the other hand, at Assateague Island National Seashore, which is operated by the National Park Service, one could get quite close to the free-roaming ponies, although actual contact is forbidden. The population size is managed through birth control administered by rifle-launched dart. Otherwise, there is minimal physical interaction with the animals.

On the other hand, at Assateague Island National Seashore, which is operated by the National Park Service, one could get quite close to the free-roaming ponies, although actual contact is forbidden. The population size is managed through birth control. Otherwise, there is minimal human interaction with the animals. A Park Ranger Intern told us the Painted Lady is the only mare that is still part of the Old Stallion’s Harem. After analysing the pictures from that day, I’m not so sure. After bumping into the Old Stallion and the Painted Lady, we came across two other mares grazing nearby. I made a number of shots of those two. Later on, our way out of the park, we spotted animals that appeared to be all four in a somewhat larger band in a pasture some distance from where we’d first spotted them. The old man seems not to have lost a loyal following.

Jay M. Ressler

Jay Ressler Composite Photography and Encaustic Art He is an outstanding location photographer, with an eye that can capture the soul of a Havana back street as beautifully as the sip of a hungry hummingbird, often with compelling black and white images. But Jay Ressler is best known for artistic expression that lives in layers between opposites. “I like to explore boundaries,” he explains. “Boundaries between consciousness and the unconscious, between reality and imagination, between certainty and skepticism.” He does this by compositing his own photography in multiple layers to produce stunningly original, interleaved images. Using Photoshop, other image manipulation software and a variety of digital effects, he paints one photographic layer on top of another. He takes advantage of textures he's captured along with an array of processes for manipulating light, contrast, and color to tell the story. “Distorting and reinterpreting the literal 'machine moments' captured by the camera is as old as the art of photography,” he insists. Jay occasionally extends his multi-layered approach to encaustic mixed media creations. Based on ancient techniques, the process begins with cooking his own recipes of beeswax and damar resin and applying this medium between the layers of photographic images, along with various pigmented compounds and materials to add color, texture and expression. Either way, the results are riveting. The viewer is drawn into an unfolding, dreamlike scene that might be heart-warming, haunting, gritty, poignant or magical. Sometimes, within the various layers, all of the above. The award-winning photographer/artist has many dimensions himself. He studied advanced digital photography at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and advanced encaustic techniques with leading instructors in the field. He worked as an underground coal miner, steelworker, machinist, labor and civil rights activist, copywriter and commercial printer. He has a BS in Psychology from Albright College.

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