Ace Ventura, American Azteca

A friend of mine unexpectedly lost her much-loved horse, Ace, to severe colic this week. This post is in  his honor.

Ace was rescued from a local livestock auction when he was a yearling. His rescuer asked around and managed to find out a bit of his history and his breeding. Turned out his sire was an Andalusian and his dam was a quarterhorse, so she set out to acquire the necessary documentation and get him registered as an American Azteca. Lacking some of the finer details such as specific birth date, she arbitrarily gave him April 1 as his birthday and named him Ace Ventura. He not only lived up to his name but also his assigned birth date, and never outgrew either! He came to live with my friend when he was around two years old, I believe.

Ace was a beautiful, kind and charismatic prankster, and far too intelligent and athletic for his own good. My friend really had to “up” her horsemanship skills to keep up with this special horse, but his antics always kept her laughing, and he proved to be a solid and reliable, and much admired, trail companion.

Ace’s person and I met through our shared enthusiasm for Iberian horses. My own much-missed Oporto was a purebred Lusitano, Portuguese cousin to the PRE (Pure Spanish horses, sometimes known as Andalusians), and at the time we met there weren’t many Spanish and Portuguese horses around where we live. So the loss of Ace has really hit me hard, too – he felt like extended family to me. It almost feels like the end of an era.

We’re going to miss you, Ace…

It’s a dog’s life…

 

dog chasing ball, motion blur

I was down at Blackie Spit yesterday, on the other side of the peninsula from White Rock, where most of my beach images are captured. It was a cloudless day, mild but a bit cooler than we’ve been getting in the past week. It was crowded! There’s an off-leash area just behind the beach parking, with quite a few dogs and their people hanging out and playing. I spent a little while watching and these are a few of the images I brought home, mostly of the lab. She was having great fun monopolizing the chase. I also have images of her running companion and a few others that I’ll post another time. Playing with my motion blurs again. 🙂 In the last one the dog is running through long grass, and I like how the dead grass heads break up the image.

 

Christmas leftovers

orange cat sleeping on wicker chair

While we are still only a month past Christmas, here’s a an image to warm a cold – or for us here, a grey – winter day. Once again featuring Ricky, from my Cats in the Sun series. Yes, I’m playing with my software again. Or maybe I should say still playing?

 

Artful Cat

Another milestone for my blog – today it cracked the 500 subscriber mark! So another big thank you to every one of you who follows mythical horse on a regular basis, as well as to everyone who comments and likes my posts. I’m blown away that so many of you enjoy my images enough to keep looking for more! 🙂 It’s opened up a whole new world for me, and I’ve learned a lot in the 9 months since my first blog post last May. You all have given me the confidence with my photography and processing to further explore creative avenues that I really enjoy but which had received mixed reviews from friends. Thank you for changing that!

Right now I’m really into playing with my software, so expect to see quite a few creatively processed images in the next few weeks. Today’s image is a rework of one of the images I featured in my Halloween post, one of my cat’s eyes images that I felt needed a little more exposure. A neighbor’s cat that was lounging on the front step.

Black cat portrait, digital art

 

Patience

crop view of horse and rider

This is an image of a horse and rider waiting their turn at a classical riding workshop. I captured this image a few years ago and it’s languished in my photo library ever since because altho there was something about it that I liked, the background in the original was really not attractive and the exposure was a little off. At the time I didn’t have Lightroom or NIK or some of my other go-to software that I use now. So when I came across the image a couple of weeks ago and casually played around with the exposure settings, then let NIK loose on it, and then added a custom bokeh background, I was rather surprised by how much I suddenly liked the image. I love how the light catch’s the horse’s eye. You may need to view the larger image to see it.

I’m posting it today to remind me to make up a print for the rider in question. She’s going to love it!

 

Playtime!

My blog has been shelved for a few days but hopefully I’ll be back to normal daily posts again now. Happy New Year everyone! I want to thank everyone of you who has supported my blog via follows, likes and comments since I started it in early May 2014. I appreciate every single one of you. The number of followers is now creeping up on the 500 mark and I am chuffed to have that many of you on board already, so a BIG thank you to my followers. 🙂 For those of you kind enough to leave comments over the last 10 days or so, thank you so much… I will be getting to them in the next few days, I hope. I have not meant to leave you hanging!

We here in the extreme southwest corner of BC got a pretty mild December, and January doesn’t appear to be shaping up into anything severe either, in spite of what the rest of the country may be in store for. Today is a rather grey day, I’m not inspired to get out with my camera, so I dug up and processed some images captured a couple of years ago at a dog off-leash park during a quick trip to Edmonton, when the temps were somewhere in the minus high teens celsius. Brrr!