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.
Jonathan Paget and CLIFTON PROMISE
It’s taken a while, thanks to Royal Windsor and a mountain of admin waiting for me at home afterwards, but the full set of Badminton Cross Country images are now online on the website.
Lucy Jackson and ANIMATOR II
Mary King and KINGS TEMPTRESS
The May edition of Active Magazine is out TODAY! Pick up your copy before they all go! In this month’s issue we have Fly Fishing, Glamping, Uppingham Town Cricket Club and wedding preparation, as well as all the usual great features.
Posted in Fishing, Published Work, Racing, society events
Tagged active, fly fishing, garthorpe, glamping, launch, magazine, Rob Waddington, rutland water, uppingham town cc
Land Rover renews sponsorship for Royal Windsor Horse Show in Five Year Deal
Royal Windsor Horse Show is delighted to announce that Land Rover has agreed to be Principal Sponsor of Royal Windsor Horse Show for the following five years (2013 to 2017 inclusive).
The Show will celebrate its 70th Anniversary this year from May 8th to 12th. It started life with the specific purpose of raising money for Wings for Victory Week in World War 2. Land Rover has been Principal sponsor of the Show since 2002. The sponsorship incorporates Title Sponsor of the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix as well as Grade A Jumping Classes, Showing Classes and the Military Skill at Arms competitions.
Simon Brooks-Ward, Show Director commented, “We are delighted to have secured this sponsorship with Land Rover. Their support of the Show is very important to us. The Land Rover brand fits extremely well with this unique Show and Land Rover has always displayed a strong empathy with the event. To know that Land Rover will be supporting the event for the next five years gives us the stability to ensure that the Show continues to grow into the future.”
The five days of Royal Windsor Horse Show are the only time of year that the private grounds of Windsor Castle are open to the public. Land Rover considers the show as a key fixture within its event calendar, as it provides the opportunity to engage with customers, showcase new products and reaffirm the brand’s commitment to equestrian sports. Jeremy Hicks, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover UK commented, “Royal Windsor Horse Show provides Land Rover with a terrific platform to engage with customers and showcase our products in a unique, very special setting. We are proud to be associated with an event of such standing and are delighted to be a partner of the Show in its 70th year and beyond”.
The Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials are delighted to announce that Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall will be presenting the prizes at the Event following the Jumping phase of the competition.
Her Royal Highness is Patron of the British Equestrian Federation and has had a lifetime’s enthusiasm for horse sports.
With just three weeks to go until Royal Windsor Horse Show (8 – 12 May 2013), the organisers have been overwhelmed with the record number of entries. 4095 have been entered to compete in the 174 classes, taking place in three arenas during the five day event. Over three years, entries have increased by 40%, which bucks the underlying trend.
The show will celebrate not only its 70th Anniversary this year with record entries, it will also host its first international Endurance Ride in the Great Park. Supported by The Kingdom of Bahrain, the Ride will attract competitors from the Middle East and Europe and will cover 120km of the outstanding landscape.
The Show Jumping entries for the event include entries from London 2012 Olympic Gold Medal winner, Peter Charles. He will be competing in The Alltech Royal Windsor Grand Prix alongside other household names, including Tim Stockdale, Tina Fletcher, Will Funnell, Trevor Breen and David McPherson.
With the Inter Schools Show Jumping competition now well established in its 3rd year at the Show, Royal Windsor has introduced ‘The University Challenge’. Four university teams will be battling it out on Thursday 9th May in the British Horse Society Arena. Royal Windsor hopes to establish this event as one of the key events for university teams across the country.
Alongside the competitive classes, which includes the increasingly popular Land Rover International Carriage Driving Grand Prix, visitors can also enjoy equestrian displays and fun competitions; the DAKS Pony Club Mounted Games, The Musical Drive of the King’s Troop RHA, The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry, the Shetland Pony Grand National and The Bahrain Arab Horse Display.
Home to more than 200 shops, where you can find everything from all types of equestrian goodies, to jewellery, clothing, homeware and arts and crafts, the event also boasts a fantastic food and drink festival, as well as the Land Rover ‘Ultradeck’ 4 x 4 course, an old fashioned fun fair and a generous selection of bars, restaurants and cafes for visitors to enjoy. The annual event attracts over 40,000 equestrian enthusiasts from around the UK with a broad range of attendees.
Simon Brooks Ward, Show Director said: “The level of entries for this year’s Show is extremely encouraging. We work hard to provide an interesting programme for our visitors and competitors and I am delighted that Royal Windsor continues to have a packed timetable. There is a lot going on in our 70th year and we all believe that this will be a truly vintage Horse Show.”
Tickets are on sale now and are priced between ú10 and ú20 with various discounts available for groups, seniors and children. For further information and a confirmed programme of events please visit www.rwhs.co.uk. For tickets, call the box office on 0844 581 4960.
The final day of competition at the Belton International Horse Trials in Grantham saw the culmination of the esteemed Grantham Cup CIC3*now under new sponsorship from Lycetts.
The top ten was dominated by British-based 29 year old Italian Vittoria Panizzon who won the Grantham Cup title on her own and Sally Bullen’s 10 year old grey mare, Borough Pennyz, Vittoria’s ride at the London 2012 Olympic Games where they finished in 11th place.
Vittoria drove off riders vying for a top ten placing by also taking 3rd place on her own international campaigner, Rock Model plus 8th place on her own Merlots Magic. Vittoria who lives in Moreton-in-Marsh said of her rides: “I am absolutely thrilled with all three horses; she [Borough Pennyz] finds everything so easy, whilst Rock Model felt fantastic aged 18. I rode Merlots Magic first of the three, he gave me such a great round considering he is quite green at this level.
“I have been practising riding very positively across country both here and at Weston to give myself more confidence; until today’s round I wasn’t completely confident about going to Badminton, but now I am.”
Lycetts, who are insurance brokers specialising in insurance solutions for those who live and work and the countryside, sponsored the Grantham Cup for the first time. Anna Goodley commented: “The Grantham Cup is a prestigious class of a very high standard and we were delighted to be able to support a competition with such kudos. Our congratulations go to Vittoria Panizzon, Sally Bullen and the fabulous Borough Pennyz who looked such a class act across the country.
“We hope to continue to support the Grantham Cup and the sport of Eventing for many years to come and feel privileged to be able to associate ourselves with a competition that has such a distinguished list of past winners.”
Top rider and horse combinations were also prevalent in the two Advanced sections also culminating on the final day of competition. The Under-25 Advanced section was won by young Frenchman Astier Nicholas on his own Piaf De B’neville whilst Ireland’s Mark Kyle won Advanced Section N on Ronnie Bartlett’s Coolio . Former Grantham Cup title holder Oliver Townend (GBR) took Advanced section M with Kathleen Wilkinson & Rachel Wood’s ODT Ghareeb.
2013 Lycetts Grantham Cup top ten:
1 BOROUGH PENNYZ, Miss Vittoria Panizzon (ITA)
2 KING ARTUS, Mr Dirk Schrade (GER)
3 ROCK MODEL, Miss Vittoria Panizzon (ITA)
4 ODT SONAS ROVATIO, Mr Oliver Townend (GBR)
5 KILRONAN, Mr Paul Tapner (AUS)
6 ALEXANDER IV, Mr Ludwig Svennerstal (SWE)
7 UNIVERSE, Mr Clark Montgomery (USA)
8 MERLOTS MAGIC, Miss Vittoria Panizzon (ITA)
9 BLM DIAMOND DELUX, Sarah Ennis (IRL)
10 PARDON ME II, Miss Emily Llewellyn (GBR)
Full results are available on www.bede-events.com
For further information on the Grantham Cup title sponsor visit www.lycetts.co.uk
For more information, please contact: Nina Lloyd Jones on firstname.lastname@example.org or 02476 698 855/ 07872 685 510