- Paperback: 84 pages
- Publisher: Perceval Press (2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0974707813
- ISBN-13: 978-0974707815
- Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.1 x 0.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,340,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Horse Is Good Paperback – Import, 2004
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Mortensen presents a sort of ethereal photographic exercise, showing all sorts of horse photographs. Some are sharp black-and-white shots, and some are colorful. Some are blurred, and some take awhile to figure out where the horse is in the photo. And some are distant and obscured by weather conditions, like a the final shot in a depressing movie finale.
Mortensen took his photographs all across the world, presenting us with photos from Morocco, South Dakota, Montana, New Zealand, Denmark, Brazil, Iceland, California, and Argentina. Surprisingly, he keeps the perspective fresh -- you don't get sick of page after page of horses. You're more likely to be struck by the quiet, earthy beauty captured in each image, all different.
And Mortensen's photography itself is pretty varied -- there's color and stark black-and-white photos, with some bright and blurry and some sharply focused. The shots themselves vary in a technical sense. Mortensen took some photographs from the rider's point of view (never has the back of a horse's ears looked so interesting), and others from the horse's point of view, down below where photographs are usually shot. That unusual technique makes the photos seem less like a simple photo, and more like a split second through a horse or lonely rider's own eyes.
Viggo Mortensen's love of horses shines through brightly in "The Horse is Good," a simple, beautiful study of one of mankind's oldest companions. Quiet and very lovely.
Viggo shoots from many perspectives-seated atop, from below, straight on; he focuses on an eye, a mouth, the hairs on the body, the sweat, and hands on the reigns.
He captures the desert sun and shadows at noon as well as shadows at night. I can't help but wonder-how did he do that without getting a shadow of the camera in the picture?
I like his technique. The photographs are skillful and artistic. They show the human side of Viggo. The horses speak for themselves. It leaves me respecting both of them.
The final picture is taken by Viggo's son Henry, who also has talent. We get a glimpse of Viggo with a horse nuzzling his camera.
Very well done.
It is a grand study of THE HORSE with full page photos. Included are photos of some of the supporting actors and their horses in the "Oceans of Fire" 3000 mile race.
What is intriguing are the self photographs of Mr. Mortensen as Frank T. Hospkins and Hidalgo. How he mastered those photos and shots of his shadow without revealing that he was the photographer* is amazing. The numerous photos of shadows are very imaginative and creative.
The movie Hidalgo is a must see and will certainly put this photo album in proper perspective. Happy Trails!
***Exceptions 1) One painting on opening page; 2)Two Mortensen family photos; 3) One photo of Dad by Henry.***