About Michael Johnston: Michael Johnston is a retired educator pursuing her dream of producing fine art photographs. Her love for photography began as a child inspired by her aunt who took stunning black and white photos and developing them in her darkroom. Horses are a special inspiration in Michael’s work.
Michael developed her keen eye and aesthetic through years of independent study and honed her craft in digital photography at Light Photographic Workshops, Los Osos with instructors Hal and Victoria Schmitt. She studied with equine fine art photographers Tony Stromberg, Scott Trees, Carien Schippers and Sherron Sheppard; and continues to explore new methodologies through online training. In May, Michael traveled to Portugal with Tony to photograph Lusitano horses at various stud farms around Lisbon.
The Castoro Cellars Gallery features images from California, New Mexico, Colorado and Portugal. Michael notes, “Photographing horses at liberty and wranglers doing what they do are my main focus. I want to capture the power, grace, beauty, individual expressions, and stories of horses and their keepers. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoy photographing them.”
About Marissa Todd: Marissa began her love affair with photography at the age of 9 when she received her first Brownie camera. The enjoyment of capturing images through the lens has stayed with her throughout her life. In college, Marissa received formal training in photography, conceptual art, and technique. In 1971, her adventures carried her to Alaska for 15 years where the environment and wildlife were a constant inspiration in photographing landscapes and wildlife. She continues to hone her skill and technique through digital photography exploring a unique form of artistry that is truly her own.
The artist states, “Utilizing digital software to integrate fascinating images, textures, and technique is what allows me to create pieces that I hope others will find intriguing.”
Marissa has traveled to Italy and France to capture equine images under the tutelage of the acclaimed European Equine Photographer, Christiane Slavick, and American Equine
photographer Tony Stromberg of Santa Fe. She notes, “Capturing images of horses in action, especially very expressive stallions running free is very thrilling and challenging at the same time.”
Marissa finds that living and working in North County on the Central Coast is reminiscent to certain wine areas of Italy and France, where she draws inspiration. She adds, “This area is unique unto itself with the lighting and the endless varieties of the natural settings, and offers me plenty of opportunities to capture beautiful images.”
The sojourn continues…