Stars, Woodlands, and Goal Posts
This month I've had a massive variety in the work that I've been doing, although it's all been horse orientated I've been doing a little more than just shooting continuous dressage or the odd bits of show jumping that I do each month. Firstly a few of you will have seen the result of my creative day on a course with Malcolm Snelgrove from Wild Tor Media at Badminton horse trials from the start of the month. I spent the day playing with weird angles, capturing up close athleticism, and generally seeing how far I could push my skills and equipment. My artistic process doesn't tend to have much ryhme or reason, I turn up to an event, warm up with some "standard shots" (Usually just average portraits, flatwork images, jumping shots, the standard everyday stuff), this settles me in, takes any pressure off, sharpens my focus (pun totally intended), then the cogs start turning. I get a funny look in my eye when I start looking for a shot, I'm usually staring at something with a weird intensity while my brain is processing what possibilities are presented before me. This weirdness is evident in most "arty" photographers, yes we're weird, no we don't care if you've spot us rolling around to get into shooting position, this is how we work, because when we have a camera in our hands we lose all sense of normal social behavior and for some reason it doesn't bother us....
After the excitement of 4* eventing I was brought back down to Earth with the wonderful quietness of horsemanship to shoot a level 1 TREC competition at Berriwood Farm. The morning was spent on the POR (The orienteering phase of TREC) where I was positioned in a fairytale woodland surrounded by bluebells, wild garlic, and a gentle stream with a wooden bridge crossing over it. You really don't get much better than that for a morning's work! The afternoon was then spent photographing the water crossing for the PTV (the obstacle phase of the competition, to test the horses obedience and present a horse with things they may meet out hacking). I seemed to be in luck with yet more glorious weather, and my flappy sunhat that I had bought at Badminton the week before enjoyed an outing with me. This competition was mainly attended by people who were new to the sport, wanting to have a go and see what it was all about, and by the end of the day there were lots of smiley faces of people who couldn't wait for the next competition!
My third weekend of the month was a total contrast, and I got to cover something which I have never photographed before: polo. It's a totally different ball game (I'm on a roll with these puns today), I had had a little practice run with some evening chukkas a week earlier, but this was far faster, and way more furious. I managed to dodge being taken out by a polo ball the entire time I was there which I think is quite the achievement and felt like I captured all the right moments while still putting my individual spin on the work produced. Enough about me though, this wouldn't have been possible without the hard work of Major Terry Warburton and his family for setting up such the wonderfully welcoming Moor Farm Polo Club in Baschurch, or without my good friend and exceptional photographer, Steve Wall (who is their regular official photographer) sending the work my way and trusting me with his 200-400mm lens and monopod, I really can't thank him enough for the opportunity.
I hope you've enjoyed seeing what I've been up to this month, who knows what next month will bring!
Keywords: arena, artists, badminton, badminton horse trials, berriwood, british, british dressage, british summer, business, change, competition, creative, cross country, day in the life, dressage, equine, equine photography, fine art, horses, moor farm, moor farm polo club, nikon, photography, photoshoots, playing, polo, polo club, shropshire, skylimit photography, summer, trec, water
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