Hollywood Engineer Brings A Fresh Perspective To Equestrian Photography

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Gatcombe Horse Trials 2016, Photograph courtesy of Philmit Photography

Gatcombe Horse Trials 2016, Photograph courtesy of Philmit Photography

Phil Kroll is seldom satisfied with the technical aspects of his photography, but in horses he can find no fault. It’s a dichotomy that is to the great benefit of horse lovers everywhere.

This quest for photography perfection is not surprising considering Phil’s impressive history. He formed Philmit Photography after a past life in the film business. As an electronics engineer, Phil’s advancements in telecine systems helped to bring classics like 2001:A Space Odyssey, Spartacus, The Sound of Music, West Side Story and Oklahoma to the silver screen.

Phil was part of the team behind the Steadi-Film System, which won two international awards: the Emmy Plaque for Engineering Excellence and the International Television Society award, also for engineering excellence. Later, Phil designed and built the worlds first 65/70mm telecine system called the OTTI 70. For this great achievement he came within two votes of clinching an Oscar technical award!

Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2015, Photograph courtesy of Philmit Photography

Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 2015, Photograph courtesy of Philmit Photography

Today, Phil resides in the United Kingdom and his steely focus is fixed on photographing his favorite things: classic cars, musical acts, and, of course horses, to name a few. He was drawn to the equestrian community in particular by the magnificence and presence of the horse. He is moved by the fact that the horse is at once a powerhouse, and yet perfectly able to pair up human rider to create a beautiful performance.

This ancient bond between human and horse is exhibited not only on the athletic field but also in artist culture of a community – a fact Phil appreciated on a trip to Lisbon. While there, he vividly captured the way in which the city memorializes their horse culture in ritual and art.

Horses in the Lisbon, Portugal, Photograph courtesy of Philmit Photography

Horses in the Lisbon, Portugal, Photograph courtesy of Philmit Photography

Horses in the Lisbon, Portugal, Photograph courtesy of Philmit Photography

Horses in the Lisbon, Portugal, Photograph courtesy of Philmit Photography

Phil may not come for a long history of horseback riding, but he does certainly seem to understand the animal.

“Horses give me the impression that they are holding a secret about their perception of us humans,” he says, “as if they know better but agree to disagree in the interest of the relationship and companionship.”

“I always feel humbled when near a horse, and when they look at you they almost seem to read your mind.”

The Cheltenham Gold Cup 2016, Photograph courtesy of Philmit Photography

The Cheltenham Gold Cup 2016, Photograph courtesy of Philmit Photography

The Cheltenham Gold Cup 2016, Photograph courtesy of Philmit Photography

The Cheltenham Gold Cup 2016, Photograph courtesy of Philmit Photography

Phil’s reverence for the horse shines in his photography, which is aimed at differentiation and making his subjects stand out. He is always striving with that same competitive spirit that made him an innovator in Hollywood to pull the viewer into each and every photographic experience. Not surprisingly, his pursuits also involve a persistence to chase quality and outdo other renowned photographers with bigger and better tools. Some things never change!

Thankfully, equestrians will be the ultimate winners, as we enjoy the wonderful photography of Phil Kroll.

Barbury Horse Trials 2015, Photograph courtesy of Philmit Photography

Barbury Horse Trials 2015, Photograph courtesy of Philmit Photography

Blue Jump

Barbury Horse Trials 2015, Photograph courtesy of Philmit Photography

You can enjoy more of Phil’s work at:

Website: Philmit Photography

Facebook: Philmit Photography and Equestrian Events

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