In his first two short films for NOWNESS, acclaimed photographer Matthew Donaldson
has broken two of the cardinal rules of showbiz: never work with children or animals. Though not technically a juvenile, his own daughter Lily was Donaldson’s choice of model for his first
poetic short in February, and with his latest he has captured the beauty of world class Argentine polo player (and model) Nacho Figueras on his trusted mount Vasco Negro, which he shot at East Hampton Polo Club this past July. “The season that they are finishing now will be the horse’s last, so Nacho particularly wanted to do the film on him as he had been a great favorite as well as a great servant,” explains Donaldson of the equine star, who helps to illustrate, in captivating slow motion, the split- second decisions about balance and timing that are taken constantly in such a partnership. “One of the ideas in filming it in slow motion was to get an idea of actually how hard it is and how skilled the rider is, because, as a novice and someone who doesn’t understand animals in a way someone with more experience would, I need to slow it down to see what he’s doing.” Following the action was renegade model and photographer Elle Muliarchyk, who captured these images of the crew in the course of the long hot day until their final take, just half an hour before the sun disappeared.