Tuesday, July 13, 2010



One more quick note this week....in honor of what we were able to do for Baylie - I have decided to donate $100.00 from every sale of any Limited Edition Silver print from my website to either care for Baylie or to contribute to bail for another horse. It is one more way that I can give back to the horses.

To see the work on my website, including the recently added images in the Fresh From the Darkroom gallery, just click on this link. http://julietrharrison.fineartstudioonline.com/

Rescuing Horses

photo by Sue Steiner

This is not my normal blog about making art and this past weekend was spent in what is not a normal activity for me. I was part of a horse rescue.

There has been a lot of talk lately about the issue of horse slaughter and the transportation of these horses to the slaughter houses in Mexico and Canada. At this point in time there are no slaughter houses in the US that kill horses. It is a state by state ban at this point and there is a bill before the US Congress to make the ban a Federal law. I really don't want to get involved in the politics of the issue. You might be surprised by what I might have to say. Suffice to say that we Americans ship quite a large number of horses to these slaughter houses outside the US. And where we have regulations in place for the humane care for the animals that are killed for human consumption here in the US...there are no such controls once the animals leave our borders. And the transportation of the horses within the US is not monitored, so they are shipped days without food or water, crammed into stock trailers where they are frightened, fighting and miserable. Not right for these animals that we have breed merely to serve our whims. And let's face it, they are not bred or kept as livestock for human consumption. So the USDA regs for beef cattle are not in place. So the horse meat from the US that does eventually end up on the tables of Europe and Asia...is chock full of steroids, anti-inflammatory meds and antibiotics. I wouldn't want to eat that! But that is all I am going to say on the issue, because for me it is really about our propensity for money grubbing overbreeding and the high cost of humane euthanasia in this climate of extreme financial tragedies. If you would like to read more about these issues, you should read the article Dark Horses in the current issue of Orion Magazine. And take a look at the website for the Unwanted Horses Coalition - http://www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org/

But this story is really about, Baylie. One of the things that I watch on Facebook, is a page for horses that are owned by a kill broker in Pennsylvania. The kill broker is the guy that buys horses for next to nothing at auction and if he is unable to sell them to private groups or rescues within a few days, he trucks them to Mexico and Canada to resell them for $/pound at the slaughter houses. This particular page was put together by a group of horse lovers and rescues that go weekly to this guys barn...they work and video tape there horses there each week. then they post a less than 2 min. video the page, still photos and as much information as they can get on the animal. They try to determine it's age from the teeth and it's general use for riding, breeding, working, etc. The information is minimal to say the least. But it is the best they can do with what they have. They also post the cost to get that horse bailed out of the kill pen. And each week, these people have, with herculean efforts, rescued a huge number of horses. What happens is an amazing coordination between those who have room to home the horses, and those with some fund to offer, however minimal, to help raise funds to bail and transport the horses.

So to get to Baylie. Just over two weeks ago, I spotted 4 horses on the broker owned list that I thought were remarkable...they were each good, straight legged, well broke using horses. All of a size and type that I would love. Now, I can in no way take on ownership of another horse. But what I did was to repost their information on my facebook wall so that the friends and fans that I have could see them too. You never know. Very quickly 3 of the 4 were bailed and had new homes offered. The last was a Bay Roan Morgan type horse. 4-5 years old that reported rode nice and drove. I decided that since he was slow to find a home, I would donate $100.00 to his bail and I did so. By the deadline I saw that he was completely bailed and happily thought that all 4 were heading to new homes.

This week, when I started looking at the posting of new horses....I noticed to my horror that this one horse was in the kill pen. What it looks like happened is that a woman offered to purchase 11 horses from his week. She "paid" for them through Paypal. But what she did was use a prepaid credit card, which is not ok with Paypal...so the refunded all the money back to her. To me...it sounds like a new kind of scam. But this time it left 11 horses destined again for the slaughter houses. And one of those the lovely young Bay Roan gelding. I was horrified. I immediately posted about him everywhere I could. Telling everyone I could think of. And up popped my friend and fellow equine artist, Sue Steiner. http://www.suesteiner.com/ Sue had already taken in 4 horses from out of this same kill brokers pen in the past year. and she offered the cost for transport and her home to take the Roan. I decided that, although I sent is $100.00 the previous week, that money was used to bail out another horse since it seemed he had a home then....I would offer another $250.00 towards his perminant bail. but that was only going to take care of less then 1/2 of what we needed. So I again...put out the call on Facebook and twitter to all my friends to see if any could help. I hate doing that. It is not at all my style to fundraise for causes. It is not that I don't believe in it. It is more that I don't believe in imposing my concept of what is important on others. We all have places we donate our time and money. doing so is an individual choice. But my uncomfortable efforts paid off. I am honored to say that my friends donated....small amounts that added up and one, Pamela Koo http://twitter.com/thepamkoo went above and beyond in putting us over the top and allowing us to bail him completely.

Baylie, as he is now called (Sue let me name him) arrived at his new home in the middle of last night. He will get to be a horse for a few days before Sue evaluates him for temperament and riding.

I am so proud to have been able to be the impetus for getting this one lovely horse to safety. I am humbled by the response from all my friends and fans. And I am sold on the power of social networking in a way I never expected. We all hope he has a long and happy life. I don't think I will ever be able to do this again. And I have issues with the whole process from overbreeding in the US to some of the practices of some of the rescue organizations. But for this one horse......my heart is full!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Love Our Local Landscapes at the Gazen Gallery

My Rhapsody in White and Frozen photographs are in the show.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Mentoring Program - A Testimonial

From photographer Julie Blair

"Being a self taught photographer with no formal training, having Juliet as a mentor was wonderful for me. Juliet encourages you to delve into the art world and see all kinds of art including photography and really study what you see and understand why you like certain works of art and not others. You gain an appreciation of the art world and how it may influence you in your work as a photographer. Her critiques of my work were insightful and she taught me how to improve and make the image stronger. She also gave me insights on how to produce a professional, cohesive set of imagery so that I could approach galleries with my work. Her expertise and experience in the field will help you gain the knowledge to move forward in your work. I highly recommend Juliet to anyone ready to go to the next level with their photography."

~Julie Blair


Find out more about my mentoring program here - http://julietrharrison.fineartstudioonline.com/other-form and contact me for more information. julietharrison@earthlink.net

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A Rose.....by any other Name

Remember last weeks concept was taken over by my trials and tribulations trying to get to Ohio? Here is the blog I had intended for then....

Film vs Digital

This blog is not about a value judgment between these two methods of taking photographs. I am not going to tell whether I think one is better than the other. In truth, although I am a film photographer first and foremost, I think making that kind of judgement between methods of creation is wrong. As artists....we are beholden to our muses and what we use to create out work...is less of consequence then the work we create. Although I do acknowledge that there are artists out there whose work is self-reflective of the process that they use. And that is wonderful too.

What I am interested in discussing it the labels we use to identify work once it is produced. And how confusing this is for the beginning collector of photography. When I began my "career" as a photographer, there was no digital photography. Other than polaroids and the more archaic methods of photography like daguerreotypes, solargrams and tintypes, all "Photographs" began as images on film. Negatives and chromes (like slide film). Again, other than those other print forms, all photographic prints were created in a darkroom. So, when you said that you were a photographer, there was no question about what that meant as far as the process that you did to create your work. Most understand that at some point it was a hands on process. And although able to be printed in multiple copies....some variations due to the process made each print somewhat unique. Again, I want to be clear that this is not a value judgement...it just what we did. And for the most part, what I still do.

Sheer Cliff Face - shot on film, Gelatin Silver Print done in darkroom and scanned to computer

Enter the digital revolution! Today, more often than not, what you see when you see a photograph for sale, is a print that was made from a digital process. There are several ways that this can happen. The first and most prevalent, is that the image was shot with a digital camera, downloaded into a computer and either digitally manipulated with a program like PhotoShop or left virtually unchanged from the original shot. This image is then printed directly from the computer on either an inkjet or laser printer, or even mass printed on poster paper.

shot with digital camera and downloaded into computer ready for printing

Another format that is building in interest are images that have been shot on film and scanned into the computer. These are then altered or not and printed the same as those that originated from a digital camera. One more possibility is to scan the traditionally created darkroom print and then to print digitally from those jpegs.

Monument - jpeg image from scanned negative

So, now I ask you...do these different processes of creating photographic print, need to be identified when the image reaches the marketplace? Do we just call them all photographs and be done with it? Does the collector need to be informed about what they are purchasing? I think they do. Does the buyer of a painting want to know if it is oil, acrylic or watercolor? I think they do. Partially because of the care each medium may require, but mostly in deference to understanding the creation of that work better. And perhaps to understand the artist who created it. BUT....if this is the case....then we need to come up with universally agreed upon terms for these prints. Just calling them all "Photographs" is not enough.

Most darkroom prints are identified by the darkroom process or paper that they are printed on. Silver prints (are the same as gelatin silver prints), platinum, palladium, c-prints, cibachromes etc, all of these are darkroom prints. Unfortunately, digital prints are called by too many different names. Sometimes, I feel it seems almost to confuse the buyer into thinking that the digital print and darkroom print are the same thing. But, mostly I think it is because nobody has come up with suitable terminology. I have seen digitally created images called; photographs, archival photographs, inkjet prints, photographic prints, giclees, prints (didn't these used to be a whole different group of processes?) and many other names.

I call the images that have been printed from scans of my silver prints, digital reproductions. That is what they are. I call the images printed directly from a negative or from a digitally created image, a giclee. Technically, a giclee is an archival image created on an inkjet printer. There are difference qualities of giclees that can be achieved, depending on the printer, ink and paper.

So, when you see a photographic image in a gallery....and the label is confusing. Don't be afraid to ask how that image was created. Sometimes the galleries don't even know and I think they need to be reminded that they should! They ARE all photographs. But how they are achieved is important to know. A rose, is a rose and they all beautiful. But if I am buying that rose, I want to know if it is a climber, tea rose, heirloom/vintage or wild. IT DOES MATTER!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject too!