Posts tagged ‘Horse’

Crook Cottage Stables – Part 1

I was very busy over the weekend taking shots of a friend of ours competing in a Dressage event at Crook Cottage Stables in Walsall, West Midlands. As with my previous attempts at Equestrian sports – see the series of seven posts from Cholmondeley Castle Horse Trials starting here – I really enjoyed the experience and came away thinking that I would like to do more of this sort of photography.

I took a few hundred images in the 3 to 4 hours I was there, not difficult when you have the camera in high-speed continuous shot mode. This approach does tend to ensure that you capture a lot of the action, but it also means you end-up spending longer in post-processing deciding which of the images you’re going to work on.

This first group of fifteen concentrates on the riders and horses before they go into the arena to compete – warming-up, preparing and generally waiting around:

In case you were wondering, yes it was Emma on Pippa that we were there to support – hence more shots of them than anyone else….;0).

Watch out for more posts from Crook Cottage over the next few days. In fact these aren’t the only Equestrian images I have to share with you, because a couple of weeks ago I attended the Somerford Park Horse Trials at Holmes Chapel in Cheshire – I just haven’t had chance to do anything with those shots yet. So they will be posted later this year…..hopefully!

© Mark Simms Photography (2013)

Playing Soldiers

Last weekend we went to the English Heritage History Live 2013 event at Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire. I think I’m right in saying that this is the largest gathering of historical re-enactors in Europe. It’s certainly on a very large-scale – there must have been a few hundred participants at least and a few thousand spectators. Of course I was there purely for the photo opportunities…….;0).

Actually from a photography perspective this was quite a frustrating event – and I think this shows in the quality of some of the shots. The action mainly took place in the middle of two large arenas and so even with a 70-200mm lens with a 1.4 tele-convertor, on a crop-sensor camera, I was still wishing I had more reach. It was possible to get close to the edge of the arenas but only if you sat down so that the crowds behind could see. The problem then was that it proved difficult to get a clean shot from such a low angle because of the way the arenas were double roped-off for crowd safety.

The main problem though was that because the crowds were often 10 to 15 deep around the edge, once you had chosen your position you were basically stuck with it! Unfortunately you had no real way of knowing, before the action got underway, whether your choice of position was a good one or not. If you tried to move to improve your chances of a good shot then you ran the risk of not getting a shot at all….!!  

© Mark Simms Photography (2013)

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