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"Horse Of The Sea" Showcases Stunning Equine Photography by Tony Bonanno

By Baron Wolman—

All Images © Tony Bonanno

This is a book about the horses, of course. Those magnificent white horses indigenous to the Camargue area of Southern France. Living wild in the tough milieu of the Camargue wetlands and marshes, these animals have, over centuries, developed the endurance, toughness and quickness for which they are known today.

But this is also a book about Tony Bonanno, the photographer who has focused on the steeds of the gardians, and the gardians themselves, the Camargue “cowboys” who, with their sure-footed horses, shepherd the black Camargue bulls used for tradional events in the arenas of southern France.

With fast shutter speeds and long lenses, Tony follows the Camargue horses galloping through the water across the horizon in a colorful blur of swift beasts in motion, water flying from their hooves. On other occasions, risking danger, he crouches behind a small hill as the gardians drive the horses directly at him for chilling close-ups while the herd thunders past him.

His exhilarating photographs of the white horses of the Camargue artfully represent the beauty of their movement and the nobility of their elegant and ancient stature.

Tony’s portraits of the guardian culture are no fewer works of art: stirring portraits of the men and women who care for the herds, details of the tools of their trade, and exquisite photographic depictions of their charming homes and barns.

An amateur photographer for years, Tony decided to turn professional in the late eighties. Growing up in Washington, DC, he spent his early working years as a high school teacher, followed by a long career in the National Park Service, where he rose to the post of Regional Chief Ranger for much of the Rocky Mountain and Southwest regions of the nation, serving in numerous posts from the shores of Cape Cod to the rugged desert and towering mountains of the Southwest. His tales of adventure in the Park Service are legendary.

A resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Tony’s parallel passions are many, from astronomy, to marksmanship, to fast, elegant cars and fine dining. As a photographer he has focused on such diverse subjects as national and state politicians, archaeological sites, the Native American culture of the Southwest, the cities and people of Cuba, the loveliness of the female form, and, of course, horses, to name but a few. He is a beloved instructor and mentor at the Santa Fe Workshops.

Tony is also renowned for his knowledge of the complex technical aspects of the world of contemporary photography. From cameras to printers, his total understanding of the hardware, software and processes needed to make beautiful images is remarkable. Yet, as is the case with all talented photographers, it’s his “eye” that matters, that creates his multi-faceted and stunning visual memories. His photographs themselves are splendid works of art, always reflecting the essence of his subject matter.

Peruse the images in this book for an understanding of Tony’s unique ability to visually communicate the grandeur of the white horses of the Camargue, and the men and women who love and care for them. Tony Bonanno is truly a contemporary renaissance man, and a damn fine photographer.


– The book “HORSE OF THE SEA”, published in December, 2023, Hardback, 72 photographs, 132 pages, text in French and English . $65. Order at:

Tony Bonanno is a Red River Pro based in Santa Fe, NM and travels worldwide to shoot architecture, travel, documentary, corporate events, editorial and fine art photography. His clients include the National Park Service, Intel, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Johnson & Johnson, Schering-Plough, HGTV, Schott AG, and the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts. He teaches at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops and is active as a board member and officer of the American Society of Media Photographers.

Tony's Website:

Original Publication Date: May 07, 2024

Article Last updated: May 20, 2024

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