Images now online:
Images of the Cottesmore Hunt’s meet at Betts Barn last week. It wasn’t a very pleasant day!
The Fitzwilliam (Milton) Hunt played host to the Woodland Pytchley on Saturday, at Milton Hall. I couldn’t stay out for very long but what I have is now online:
On a day off from more traditional mounted hunting the Cottesmore Hunt hounds enjoyed a day of hound exercise in the woods in glorious winter sunshine.
Full set of images – Cottesmore Hunt Hound exercise in Owston Woods
Toby Greenall continued the family tradition by hosting his first Belvoir Meet at his Grandmother, Migs Greenall’s old home, Waltham House.
A good field of 100+ followers gathered, with visitors from the Warwickshire, Staffordshire Moorland, Heythrop and many more.
Hounds quickly found the trail and headed from the meet toward Greenall’s Spinney, above Chadwell. From there hounds followed the trail as far as Eaton before returning to second horses on Freeby Lane.
After the change, hounds crossed Waltham Pastures Farm toward Freeby Wood, then on to Freeby village.
Ideas for amateur photographers covering horseracing and poker tournaments
Horseracing and poker are two of the most popular spectator sports in the United Kingdom. Horseracing, on one hand, is extremely popular in the UK, and Brits place a particular significance on this competitive sport. Even though the Romans brought it into their shores 19 centuries ago, it was the Brits who radically transformed horseracing to what it is today. Poker, on the other hand, took its root on British soil only in the last century. But the Britons – other than the Americans who invented this card game – play poker more than anyone else in the world. With the two sports’ huge following in the UK, it has thus become a photographer’s business to cover horseracing and poker tournaments and immortalize the best moments from these events.
This horseracing-poker case is a classic example of outdoor vs. indoor photography, making lighting the starkest difference between capturing images on racecourses and inside poker rooms. Natural lighting in open courses like the Newmarket and Ascot is generally much preferred to produce amazing pictures. However, the catch is: one will never be sure that the weather or the sunlight will stay exactly as a photographer wants them be. Artificial lighting, meanwhile, gives photographers a great leeway to control the environment. Nevertheless, poker rooms at The Casino at the Empire and Grosvenor G Club have a steady unchangeable environment, and the photographer may not have access to adjust the indoor lighting he or she desires. If this is the case, simply slow down the camera’s shutter speed to an ISO of around 1000 to let more light in.
Movement also varies between shooting horseracing and poker competitions. Covering championship races like the Epsom Derby and Grand National are especially difficult because fast-racing horses will definitely produce heavily-blurred images. A technique that can be applied here is increasing the shutter speed, making the horses and the jockeys in the photo more frozen and crisply-defined. Thanks to cameras that allow photographers to freeze a scene at 1/8000th of a second or faster, covering horseracing moments have become easier. Horseracing doesn’t share with poker the same dilemma since there’s little motion among cards and chips. It is, thus, unnecessary to increase the shutter speed, which in effect puts more focus to the thinking poker player. Taken at Partypoker’s World Poker Tour (WPT) Five Diamond Classic, the photo below shows a unique focus to David Baker (the player in white) while blurring the others in the background. Copyright of this image belongs with the original photographer (not known).
In conclusion, covering horseracing and poker tournaments have differences in requirements and techniques to capture the best possible photo of jockeys and card sharks in action. It doesn’t mean, however, that there are certain skills unique for each sport that is required from a photographer. One may bring his or her DSLR to takes pictures at the Cheltenham Gold Cup in the afternoon, then proceed to WPT London Poker Classic in the evening. It only takes practice to master the art of covering two of the most revered sports in the UK today.
The other day I was approached by a friend at a social event I was photographing. The conversation went a bit like this:
Friend: “Hi Nico, we miss seeing you on the hunting field, why don’t you ever come out with our hunt any more?”
Me: “Ah, yes, I miss coming out with your pack too, but it’s no longer worth it.”
Friend: “What do you mean?”
Me: “Hmm, bit awkward to explain, but in a nutshell, the powers that be have devalued the photography of your hunt.”
Friend: “Devalued it?”
Me: “Yes. Unfortunately, by giving access to all of your hunt’s events to X and Y, who give away everything they take for free, they have devalued the photography. Subscribers now expect their photos for nothing and, being self-employed, I can’t work like that.”
Friend: “Oh, I see what you mean. But, their photos are rubbish! They don’t… [I will cut out the ensuing assassination of the work of the two photographers as this is not intended as a criticism of them. Suffice to say that they are not getting what they want at the moment.]”
Me: “Well the hunt should have thought about that. They used to get lots of free images from me for their publicity, newsletters, calendars etc. because I have always maintained that hunt publicity is my way of giving back to the hunts. Unfortunately, because they didn’t give me any help in return, it is no longer worth me making the trip, so there aren’t any pictures for them to have.”
Friend: “What about hunts A, B, C and D?”
Me: “I can’t say things won’t change but they are all giving me some support in return for the stuff I do for them.”
Friend: “Oh, I see.”
Cue awkward pause.
- Visit Candy Crush Saga page on Facebook App Center.
- At the bottom of the right-hand column, find and click on the “Block” link.
- In the popup asking you if you want to “Block App?”, click “Confirm”.