I recently had the opportunity to shoot this amazing athlete portrait of equestrian and Dressage rider Alexandra Morin at the beautiful Khalani Stables.
Alex has been riding since the age of 8 – most of her career has been spent as a hunter jumper, competing in provincial and international circuits. She has recently switched over to the world of dressage thanks to her local coach, Evonne Hart, who has dedicated herself to Alex’s development as a rider over the past several years. Alex has been commended to top riders in the US and Canada, and has worked for Grand Prix rider and trainer Bianca Tota. Her goals in Dressage are to reach and compete at the Prix St-George level and above to become the best trainer she can possibly be.
I feel immensely privileged to have been able to witness such beauty scenery in my lifetime. This is one of those rare moments where I feel that an image I've taken transcended the beauty of moment itself.
This is in St-Gilgen, Austria.
"Of Feeling little more can be said, than that the idea of bodily pain, in all the modes and degrees of labour, pain, anguish, torment, is productive of the sublime"
- Edmund Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful
Climber: Matthew Packer
Belayer: Gordon Pham-Nguyen
Once we returned to the car, we changed clothes, washed our hands, and were left with one significant task; we still had to drive back up through the mountainous and rocky terrain to load the elk into the back of the truck. Since it weighed several hundred pounds, carrying it down would be impossible.
Earlier in his life, my Uncle Pepi told me that after a hunt, he would pick the elk up with his bare hands and throw it over his back and carry it down the mountain. I have no doubt that he did.
Over the past several days, I have been wavering back and forth on whether or not I should post some of the more explicit photos from this trip. However, upon searching through the album, I felt that by posting photos of nothing but the pretty landscapes I would be painting a disingenuous and incomplete representation of this experience. Hunting is not pretty, but it is by far the most ethical way to kill an animal, and rather than desensitizing us to death, I believe that it can provide us with a much greater appreciation for the lives of the animals whose lives we claim for our nourishment.
In this photo, the Elk lay bare, it’s organs being removed and blood drained in order to facilitate the transportation of the carcass back down the mountain.
Because the cabin had been left unattended over the winter, the freezing temperatures caused a small crack to develop in the gas line of the heating system that would have made it potentially deadly to use.
After waking up at 5AM in the cold, we waited in complete silence to stalk the herds of elk traversing over the mountain range which appear in abundance during September's rutting season. Nora, our beloved hunting dog, trembles in anticipation for her favourite meal, fresh tripe.