Featured photographer: Bob Koblewski

Barbara Wilder and Bob Koblewski

When you ask for suggestions, sometimes you get a great one. At our last general meeting when President Roddy Wilder asked for ideas to make the monthly meetings more interesting, a member suggested that we could have a featured photographer give a slide show of their pictures on any topic. It was decided that we would do this each month, starting with our presenter in June, Bob Koblewski, who showed a slide show about the Salt River wild horses.

Bob has been interested in photography for most of his adult life and has been a serious photographer for over 15 years. His main interest is wildlife photography but enjoys taking pictures of just about everything. He has a reputation of having his camera with him everywhere. If you’ve attended any of the SaddleBrooke One events at the clubhouse, Bob has probably taken your photo for a video show which goes out to all residents.

Bob was first introduced to the wild horses through a group from New York that photographs wild horses throughout the United States. In March of this year he joined their group at the Salt River for his first attempt to photograph horses in the wild. After standing around for almost three hours and seeing nothing, the group decided to call it a day. On their way back to the parking lot a small group of horses came out of the woods and headed for the river. This provided many opportunities to photograph the horses in their natural environment.

This was all Bob needed to get hooked on photographing wild horses. He has been back to the Salt River six different times now, twice leaving SaddleBrooke at 4:00 a.m. so he could find the horses in the cooler mornings and get photos in the beautiful morning sun. He said, “It’s very enjoyable to just sit and observe the interactions between stallions, mares and colts within a band and it is exciting just to watch Mother Nature at her best.”

Because the horses are accustomed to people being around them you must be careful not to get too close. The guideline is to stay at least 50 feet away. Bob uses a 70-300mm or 150-600mm lens so he can give them their space and still get good photographs. Finding the horses is hit and miss, and you never know where, when and if, you’ll find any horses. Bob has taken hundreds of photos and produced three DVDs and an 8×11 book with his photos. Bob says that he can’t wait until the next time he can make another trip back to the Salt River.

Several members of the photo club were inspired by Bob and his wife JoAnn’s photos and descriptions of the family groups of wild horses. So, a field trip was planned to visit the area and all came back with pictures of this free roaming band. Everyone’s favorites were the new-born fuzzy colts with their moms. The drought has been difficult for them finding enough forage, so money has been raised to supplement with good hay, placed discreetly so they will not become dependent and too comfortable with people.

Bob Koblewski is a familiar name around SaddleBrooke, as he is the go-to photographer to take pictures of club and neighborhood events. You will see his photo credits in almost every issue of the SaddleBrooke newspapers. He is great with people photography, but I suspect that birds and animals are his next favorite subject. During the Photo Club’s open studio on Wednesday and Friday mornings, he will often bring in pictures to show of wildlife found during his evening excursions on his golf cart. It is amazing how many animals and types of birds he can see just on the local golf course here. He is also a popular artist at the SaddleBrooke One Gift Shop, selling many cards and prints of the local wildlife and Arizona landscapes.

The SaddleBrooke Photography Club welcomes visitors to the monthly meeting held every third Friday at 3:00 p.m. in the Sonoran Room at SaddleBrooke TWO, or you can drop in at one of our open studio sessions in the Agate Room any Wednesday or Friday morning from 9:00 a.m.-noon.