Custer’s Last Stand – Dances with Horses

May 17, 2022 0 By phoenixgenesis®

Time washes away all war and conflict and replaces it with peace and beauty. Looking at the photo of wild horses on what was once known to both the Lakota and Plains Indian tribes as the Battle of the Greasy Grass, one can only see the life-sustaining force that the earth provides for its inhabitants. Phoenix Genesis® photojournalist Michael “Mike” Kaufer has brilliantly captured God’s realm and our American amber waves and spacious skies as a place where there are no boundaries and every moment provides us with childlike wonder and a yearning for adventure in nature.

The ancestors of these majestic horses were perhaps companions to both Indians and Custer’s troops alike in the Battle of Bighorn. They fought courageously on the battlefield. Some fell, their bodies returning to the earth while their blood nourished the soil for the present generations. Although General Custor lost that day in the Great Sioux War of 1876, we all lost something by the clash of cultures and heritage and the stifling of different points of view and lifestyles. As these wild horses show, this great nation is for all of us, to live in peace and harmony.

How did Mike Kaufer’s technical knowledge of photographic mastery convey the messages of his imagry. Mike understood the Rule of Thirds. The main black-and-white spotted horse is positioned perfectly as the center of his photograph. It is the only horse acknowleding man while standing on the road of progress. Yet, the white line of the road draws the viewer’s eye to the horse’s line of site. The curvature of the horse’s back rolls in perfect syncronicity to the rolling plains upon which he and his brothers and sisters inhabit. The lone tree stands as a sentinel to the vast expanse of their remote existence.

The use of color opposites breathes life into this barren environment. We have the yellow of the plains contrasting with the blue of the sky. The white fluffy clouds go beautifully with the white spotted pattern of the main horse. The gray of the road is the absence of color that oftens accompanies mankind’s encroachment of nature. Be aware that years of photographic experience allows the master photographer to intuitively grasp the essence of a great photograph. One feels the subject matter. However, starting out, it is beneficial to break down its technical components. I hope that Mike and I together helped you to go out and create your own digital masterpieces.

– Photos taken by Michael Kaufer on July 21, 2020 with Samsung Galaxy smart phone.

Des Manttari, Editor-in-Chief, Phoenix Genesis

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