Martin Usborne's photographs capture the classic beauty of animals and the ugliness of their modern situation. His work is inspired by the painter Velázquez, who worked in the same area where these images were taken and at a time when these dogs were still considered noble. Every winter throughout Spain, it is estimated that up to 100,000 hunting dogs are abandoned or killed at the end of the hare hunting season when they are no longer needed, perform poorly or are too old. Usborne's photographs aim to capture some of the beauty and heritage of dogs without denying the ugliness of their modern situation.
He used a medium-format film camera, natural light and background materials and accessories he found on site or brought with him. His photographs show both the classic beauty of animals and the ugliness of their modern situation: their bodies are weakened and their expressions fearful. Today, at the end of each hunting season in February, it is estimated that up to 100,000 dogs are abandoned or killed, which is considered too old or too slow for the next season. This is a heartbreaking reality that Usborne's work brings to light.
His photographs remind us of the importance of treating animals with respect and compassion.