With a love of the outdoors and his camera lens trained on the wild country, Claude Steelman has traveled for 25 years from the Arctic to Central America photographing the glories of the world’s natural landscapes and their inhabitants. From the magnificent American bald eagle soaring in the Alaskan sky to wondrous underwater scenes, the talented artist-photographer captures the essence of his subjects as few can.
As a young man, Steelman worked as a dude ranch wrangler and also rode bareback at Saturday night rodeos. After deciding he was better-suited for another profession, Steelman tried other jobs, but realized that his inspiration came from nature photography. Thus began a storied career that has been very rewarding and produced some of the most admired images in this master artist-photographer’s genre.
In addition to Steelman’s images of wildlife ranging from the tiny hummingbird to some of nature’s most dominant creatures, wild horses have fascinated him since the mid-1970s. In his first encounter with the wild, beautiful "mesteños” or mustangs that roam America, Steelman was hooked on photographing their world. Working in seasonal temperatures with an extreme range and terrains that vary from heavily treed and mountainous to barren, windswept expanses, Steelman immerses himself in the excitement that observing the wild horses brings.
Steelman’s horses are magnificent in their natural state with their many variations of breeds – their long, unkempt manes, some with scars of past battles, all exuding a wild dignity - and his lens captures the untamed spirit of these mustangs in all their glory. The artist says, "It is a stirring experience to glimpse a herd of mustangs galloping wild and free.”
The artist-photographer’s love for the wild horses is obvious. In his work, Steelman also hopes to create more awareness and concern for the mustang. His images have been featured in publications worldwide, and his cinematography has been seen on The Discovery Channel, PBS, and the National Geographic Channel. Steelman possesses a stock consisting of more than 100,000 images of his work and continues to add to this vast library.
Join Claude Steelman as he explores nature. Get up-close and personal with the wild horses – listen for their thundering hooves and smell the dust that swirls around the magnificent herd.