Dirt sprays as horse and rider soar during a morning practice. Taken near Davis, CA. 

Week 27 of my 52 Weeks project came and went in a flash. Between adjusting to the new job, and finally settling in somewhat to my new housing situation, I found myself back in Davis for the weekend, without a clue what to shoot for the week's photo. Posting online, seeing if anyone would bite for a photoshoot, someone commented on photographing horses. The ideas starting spinning, and next thing I knew I was at a stable early Sunday morning. 

Looking online, I saw nothing but telephoto shots of horses jumping. Now, there's nothing wrong with telephoto, but I really didn't feel like the photos gave the same scale that these beautiful creatures are due. Following that logic, I opted for my 17-40mm. I wanted to be close. Really, really close. 

And I was. Meeting with our rider, Karissa, and her beautiful gelding Magic, I was nothing short of fascinated by the connection the two shared. Even having been raised around horses all my life, I simply couldn't help but appreciate the finesse exercised before me. Gaining the confidence to get the shot I needed, I stepped forward and crouched right at the corner of the jump. I was about 4 feet from where the two would jump just as Magic began his approach. 

The seconds that followed stretched for an impossibly long time. Just beyond arm's reach, horse and rider left the ground, flew what seemed to be nearly overhead, and landed mere feet away. Even the dirt Magic kicked up had yet to fall back to earth as the two soared. 

I was beyond impressed, and one happy photographer. 

With that, a special thanks to Karissa and Magic for making this week's photo such a thrilling experience!