Good Morning

In the predawn darkness, the earth is cool and still. The frogs, nighttime animals and even the wind are finally at rest. With sights and sounds dampened by the night, the smells of grass, dew and horses permeate the air. My mind and heart slow. I feel the effortless space between breaths.

The silence is softly stirred by a movement in the grass, followed by a stillness, like the pause between musical notes. A few moments pass before a distant robin calls to its mate who answers from the branches above. A gentle breeze rustles the trees, joined by other calls, and in the still dark night, almost feeling before hearing, are low, soft nickers. 

As the blue of the sky emerges, an unnameable silhouette appears, eventually taking form as a mare. She lazily scratches her nose on her leg before resuming her standing sleep. A second mare emerges from the tall grass, cocking back onto her haunches to stretch her front legs, then each hind leg stretched backward in turn. Lowering her head, she shakes the sleep from her full body, the dew and dust outlining her form. The growing orange in the east illuminates three more mares, and as the sun breaks through the tree line, on cue, five foals awkwardly rise, short tails flapping, a hind leg scratching a molting face, a bit of jostling play. Again silence, as they stand sideways to the warming sun before taking their breakfast.

Reaching into my camera bag, I remember why I‘ve come. Although it now feels secondary.


Back in the saddle

After a six month hiatus from photographing horses, I stepped back in the paddock last week, excited to start a new series of horses of the Hudson Valley. Walking into the barn, the smell was intoxicating—for those of us who like that sort of thing—the familiar scent of hay, horses and leather eliciting unapologetic tears. My eternal, internal home.

It wasn’t my intention to photograph that day as it was quite gray and rainy, and I was aware of a sense of relief that I could start this project simply by being around my subjects without the pressure of imaging them. Christina, one of the boarders, introduced me to the residents, describing the idiosyncrasies of both horses and owners so I could approach safely, bring a long lens or a grain of salt. It felt good just to be among the herd.

As we were finishing the introductions, the sun found a hole in the clouds and I couldn’t resist asking Christina to bring her Warm Blood to an outdoor arena where I could practice shooting. As her magnificent Syldra raced around the arena, the rest of the world fell away in a beautiful state of absolute presence. I watched the mare’s beautiful form, the swiftness of her movement and the afternoon light coalesce in perfect moments of photogenic splendor. It was thrilling to witness, and that’s a good thing, because my photographer self largely missed it all. Among the blurry, blown out, and completely missed-the-subject collection, I had one barely passable image to offer Christina.

It was humbling, and a reminder of the imperative of practicing any craft. When I mentioned this to Christina, she rolled her eyes and validated my remark with, “Please, I’m a cellist.” It reminded me of the Heifetz quote, “If I don‘t practice one day, I know it; two days, the critics know it; three days, the public knows it.” I take photographs nearly every day, but trees and the Hudson don‘t move in the same way, and never run straight at me. The experience provided a huge appreciation for what I often take for granted. With current technology, nearly everyone takes photographs. Yet it’s different for those of us who practice the craft. Hats off to those who do.


After three successful solo exhibitions, the decks are being cleared for emerging work. Of course not all Images sold out of their three-edition sets. Therefore, available images are being offered for far less than the original gallery cost. Please visit EQUINE SALE and EARTH SALE to view the images and new pricing. If you'd like a different size, please contact me regarding availability and pricing. And honestly, if there is an image that speaks to you, and you just don't have the funds right now, please contact me. I'd rather that image enrich your wall than my pocket.



34A Main Street, Chatham, NY
Thursday – Saturday 11 – 6, Sunday 11 – 3, and by appointment

Ellen Lynch’s newest exhibition, COMMON GROUND, pairs separate photographs of humans and horses as an invitation to seek connection between seemingly disparate subjects: the wildness of a stallion racing down a Cornish beach meeting the passion of human conviction during a political rally; the unilateral play of the wind making no distinction between mane or hair; or perhaps a quiet understanding between elders. Her large-scale compositions provide a heightened sense of realism, savoring fractions of seconds with wonder and reverence.

Horses have always ignited her imagination. Lynch is fascinated by their duality—their wild spirit and power coupled with their gentle, grass-eating ways. They are mythical beings yet grounded firmly on the earth. They have been easy partners and subjects in her work due of her deeply felt connection with them.

Images of people proved a greater challenge, until this past year, when political rallies gathered individuals of varying, age, race, and economic backgrounds, in support of a common good. “At the first women’s march in New York City, I experienced thousands of people who perhaps had never crossed the same streets, now chanting in one voice, their shared passion beautifully apparent.” In a deep sense, Lynch found her herd, and her way in, photographically. “Finding connection at this divisive time in the world, embracing duality and celebrating our differences, allowing them to grow toward a higher purpose, feels so important to me. We are all connected, and don’t need to be the same to find common ground.”

Ellen finds inspiration nearly everywhere, whether at her ranch in Southeast Idaho near the Teton Mountains, or her home in Columbia County overlooking the Hudson River, or on her many travels. “The Earth is a beautiful place, and especially at this time of change, it feels important to record it and honor it.”

After her well-received show in Chatham last October, she is thrilled to be returning for another solo exhibition on the town’s Main Street.

Ellen Lynch, Common Ground, an exhibition of photographs
34A Main Street, Chatham NY 12037.   208.390.9088 . 
Gallery hours: Thursday – Saturday, 11 – 6 and Sunday, 11  – 3.

To Learn from Animal Being

To Learn from Animal Being

Nearer to the earth’s heart
Deeper within its silence:
Animals know this world
In a way we never will.

We who are ever distanced and distracted
By the parade of bright
Windows thought opens:
Their seamless presence
Is not fractured thus.

Stranded between time
Gone and time emerging,
We manage seldom
To be where we are:
Whereas they are always
Looking out from
The here and now.

May we learn to return
And rest in the beauty
Of animal being,
Learn to lean low,
Leave our locked minds,
And with freed senses
Feel the earth
Breathing with us.

May we enter
Into the lightness of spirit,
And slip frequently into
The feel of the wild.

Let the clear silence
Of our animal being
Cleanse our hearts
Of corrosive words.

May we learn to walk
Upon the earth
With all their confidence
And clear eyed stillness
So that our minds
Might be baptized
In the name of the wind
And the light and the rain.

- John O’Donohue

In offering images...

In offering images, I share my veneration for our home and that place in myself that is of the Earth. I offer a reminder to look up, to look down and to look within. A reminder that we are all of the Earth. And as the Earth is, we are.