Horses of Sable Island

by Debra Garside
July 30, 2012

Contact horses on Sable Island by Deb Garside ©


Dear Friends and Clients: It is with great pleasure and excitement that I invite you to view my latest exhibit, featuring new images from a 10-day June 2012 Expedition to Sable Island. It was another incredible experience on the island and I have returned with thousands images of new horses and landscapes. Imagery will be presented on aluminum alloy, and featuring B&W renditions created with the K7 printer. Piezography K7 is the latest generation of inkjet techniques, using seven shades of black ink with which to produce the highest quality monochromatic photograph. I will be unveiling 16 new images along with 2013 Calendars and signed, limited edition books. All will be on display at Anderson Ranch during the Rocky Mountain Classic horse shows beginning August 8th Wed-Sundays. Please join me for the opening reception with wine and cheese at Goby's Grill from 2-5pm on August 11th.


Sable Island (French: île de Sable) is a small island situated 300 kilometres (190 mi) southeast of Halifax, Canada, and about 175 kilometres (109 mi) southeast of the closest point of mainland Nova Scotia in the Atlantic Ocean.


Arch - horses by Deb Garside ©




Sable Island is currently in a transition year as its management changes over from the Canadian Coast Guard and Environment Canada to Parks Canada. The first obstacle to visiting Sable is to obtain permission from all of these bodies, the second is always the weather! Fogbound for two thirds of the year, Sable is subject to very difficult landing conditions for the only mode of transport to the island, a Briton-Norman Islander aircraft operated by Maritime Air Charters.


Condor - horse by Deb Garside ©





Plantinum  horse by Deb Garside ©




Power and Speed horse by Deb Garside ©


Power and Speed


Somber Seas horse by Deb Garside ©

Somber Seas


Splash horses by Deb Garside ©




Tempest horses on beach Sable Island by Deb Garside




My recent (and third) expedition to Sable took place at the height of fog season, June 2012. While the fog played havoc

with flights, it provided wonderful opportunities photographically. I had several goals in mind for this trip... to hike to

the farthest reaches of the east and west ends of the island that my legs could carry me and to capture images that

depicted the horses in movement/action and near the ocean. There are times in a nature photographers life when all the

stars seem to line up for a shoot and for me this trip proved to be just such an occasion! My most memorable moment was on the third day when two young stallions took to the south beach at about 8:30am. Both horses were beautiful types with long flowing manes and tails and healthy coats. The fog rolled back briefly allowing a lovely diffuse morning light to showcase their performance. The two stallions engaged in mock fighting which included biting, chasing, rearing and spinning in the sand just along the shoreline. What more could I ask for?


During the 10 day trip I was armed with three camera bodies (Nikon D3s and two back-up D300's). On long hiking days I

chose to go as light as possible (as hiking in sand is 3.5 times more difficult than firm footing) carrying only my D300

and 70-200mm f/2.8flens. For short hikes and shooting near home base, I shot the D3s and either the 70-200mm f/2.8 or my fixed 300mm 2.8 with Gitzo Mountaineer tripod and really right stuff (RRS) ball head. Most of the time I found a tripod too cumbersome, as the horses usually are moving quite quickly and getting into position often required running in deep sand with only a fraction of a moment to get the shot.


Poster Horses of Sable Island by Debra Garside



Debra Garside is one of Canada's most accredited riding coaches and a former grand prix show jumping rider. Now an established professional photographer, she lives in Turner Valley, Alberta near the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies, with her two dogs and 3 horses.  In the last year Debra's photographic journeys have taken her from Antarctica and Patagonia to north of the Arctic Circle.

Contact Debra at
or to view her work please go to

blog and new photos soon on my site
for all things Sable to go

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