Trisia Eddy - Their Breath in Clouds like Smoking Dragons
What/who inspires you?
There are some extremely accomplished international equine photographers who inspire me, one in particular is Katarzyna Okrzesik-Mikołajek, another is Tony Stromberg. However, I am always struck by the great work of local photographers; Megan Kruse, Miriam Cameron, and Nicole Templeton come to mind. With the constant stream of social media, it’s easy to simply scroll through all the images, but every so often one sweetly beautiful photograph will just stand out for me. I find those particularly inspiring.
How has the process of seeking beauty changed you?
Life felt like it became quite complicated a few years back; with my children older and all in school, I went back to work. I was set somewhat adrift as I lost connections with fellow writers and artists that I had formed while the kids were younger. Working unpredictable hours, coupled with being a mom, I was faced with the challenge of finding time to create, as well as time to ‘be alone.’
Photography, especially with horses, became a way for me to discover those moments simultaneously. I found myself trekking out to the countryside whenever I could, to try and catch the the hoar-frost on the trees, or the perfect golden hour after an evening summer rain. The horses became my muses, but also my therapists, my way to find space. I began to crave the time away that I could dedicate to practice, finding the beauty in the light, the weather, the mood of the horses.
However, since I live in the city and not the country, this seeking soon translated into everyday moments, simply out of necessity. I would chase the light glancing through the boulevard trees while driving the kids to school. I would pull over for a snapshot of birds on a power line. My awareness of my surroundings increased, and my perception on what makes a meditative moment was altered. Though I feel happiest in a field with a herd of horses, I also feel lifted by simple scenes in life; the cloud formation this morning, the dad piggy-backing his two kids while running to catch the bus.
Describe a moment in your life when you were in the presence of beauty.
I think of a moment when I was with the horses in the middle of winter, their breath in clouds like smoking dragons, and their hooves squeaking on the crisp snow. The air was as cold as anything, and the sun was at just the right angle in the sky to catch the ice on tips of muzzles, forelocks, and fenceposts. I happened to notice the frost creating beautiful feathers on the back of the legs of one of the horses, and was completely transfixed by the phenomenon. I had nothing but my eyes to record the moment, but remember how I crouched down to stare for several minutes. I am always amazed by winter, and how completely transformative it is.
How did you find your subject matter?
In a sense, it was a gift. I was looking for ways to spend as much time as possible with these animals that I loved. I was comfortable practicing with snapshots of my daughter and her pony, or wandering the herd at the farm, but a pair of friends and fellow horse lovers asked if I would take some photographs for them. Initially I was nervous, and then found that I enjoyed it at a whole different level. The more people began requesting photos with their horses, the more opportunities presented themselves. It was very much an organic evolution, and I’ve been growing and absorbing as much as I can, as I go along. With every shoot I do, the more I learn, whether it is about technique, or developing my own style.
What is beauty?
For me it is something simple, something that makes you pause. The way the sun shines through a field of grass after rain. A glance of mutual affection between two beings. The smell of horses eating freshly spun hay. The small yet forceful sound a leaf makes falling onto the roof of your car while you are waiting to pick the kids up after school. Little things that pull you away from the rush and blur of everyday busyness, and provide moments of clarity.
Trisia Eddy enjoys playing with poetry and printing presses, but particularly likes to spend her spare time behind the camera lens, especially if there are horses involved. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband and three children (plus a few more animals). Visit her website to see more of her work.