Innovative Interactive Online Equestrian Magazine Launched
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Vision of the Horse, a new interactive online magazine celebrating the best of global equestrian sport, has been launched by Kit Houghton, one of the world’s most experienced and respected equestrian photographers.
The second edition of Vision with spectacular photographs and interactive video that was created by the British photographer has been published and can be viewed at www.visionofthehorse.com.
Spectacular imagery, slideshows and video crafted creatively to give viewers a closeup, almost personal, perspective of equestrian life, from the stars of the sport, major events and a “virtual” tour of a horse lorry (or truck for us Americans).
On a personal note, this writer has been a deadline-driven photojournalist, a publisher and editor/writer over the years of books and magazines and a correspondent and producer of film, television and radio, and salutes not only the quality of the content but the extraordinarily high production values.
Kit and his crew in their first two editions–there are scheduled to be four a year–are exploring the capabilities of the Internet to incorporate the best of the media from print in words and pictures, to video in imaginative and unusual way and audio capturing the voices and sounds of the wonderful world of the horse.
Vision of the Horse is a feast for the senses.
“Vision of the Horse has been in development for over 18 months and I hope you enjoy looking at these images as much as I enjoyed taking them,” Kit said. “It’s interactive, and a video will run whenever you turn to a big image in black and white, but no two features are the same, so keep your mouse busy to ensure you don’t miss anything.”
The first edition covered some of the great spring competitions such as the Rolex World Cup finals in Leipzig, the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, and behind-the-scenes access at the Double H stables of Rodrigo Pessoa in Wellington, Florida, and British event rider Zara Phillips.
As to be expected, the second edition has more of a sense of excitement. The focus on Aachen is a production that is so complete that it is–really–almost as good as being at the best horse show in the world. But that is only one of a half-dozen features.
With not much more than word of mouth, the first edition recorded unique readership of over 4,000 viewers worldwide from 64 countries. The average time spent on the site is seven minutes. An iPhone app is available free on the the Apple app store.
Kit said he came up with the idea when looking at most on-line equestrian magazines that were just on-line versions of the print version.
“My supposition is that generally magazines are not read on line but the visual content is the most important,” Kit said from his home in Somerset, England.
“In the course of an event or photo shoot I take many hundreds of photographs many of which never see the light of day and so I wanted to devise a way of getting across the atmosphere of an event by using some of these pictures.”
He browsed the Internet and found a site where the photographer had combined still photography with sound effects, music and commentary interspersed with very short video clips.
“To me this seemed an ideal way to convey the ambiance of an event. It took me some time to find an editor who was sympathetic to and understood horses and what I as trying to achieve. In the end it was an ex-film school student who lives within a mile of me who excels at interpreting and assembling the audio visual pieces.
“Compared with a print magazine it is endlessley flexible.
“One can add or subtract pages without worrying about pagination. The basic spreads are designed in Adobe In-Design which is converted to a pdf and then uploaded to the host site, where the interactive element is overlaid.”
The first issue was very time consuming, he said, but the software company hosting the magazine was extremely helpful and experience with the pitfalls has made it easier.
Kit and his wife, Kate, make up the full-time “staff,” and they are aided by three freelancers who write design and edit.
The schedule calls for four editions a year of Vision of the Horse, May, July, September and December.
Chances are readers will re-visit the Vision of the Horse time and again to savor the sounds and sights of our world.