Sunday, 1 July 2018

Trials and tribulations

When there are people fighting moorland fires a few miles from your home as the crow flies it seems trivial to be thinking about how to improve your photography. And trying to make 'good pictures' of the fires seems even more ridiculous. But on Thursday I took a drive out to see for myself what the Winter Hill fire looked like from afar. Pictorially the balloon made the same point visually as I tried to  make above about the ridiculousness of what we do for fun when compared with things that are important.

Still, there's nothing most of us can do about the fires so life might a well carry on. One thing's for sure, the hot weather that has allowed the moors to burn isn't much fun for sheep. On my way to a sheep dog trial today I had to pull over and grab a shot or two of a flock lying in the shade of a large tree. As is all too often the case I didn't take as much care as I should have done and it's a bit soft as a large image. Story of my photographic life that is...

The venue was the same as last week, which meant that (in theory) I should have been well prepared for what to expect. I arrived a bit later this time as I knew the sun would have been in my face early on. I also had a better idea of where to get a good view of the penning. So much for preplanning. I still made a lot more bad pictures than I should have done.

Looking at last week's haul of pictures I thought that a series of rear views of handlers at the post might have some mileage. So I tried that tack. Trouble is everyone stands in a different place to the post! It's still something I might persevere with.

 As I'm trying to give a broad impression of the trials I'm steering clear of doing the obvious and photographing dogs in action. Although I'm sure those are the sort of pictures that would be marketable to the owners of the dogs. It continues to be pictures of people and their animals which interest me most. And vignettes of trialing.

Not forgetting the penning dance.

Or the mishaps.

It's a challenging subject all right, but with a lot of down time when the dogs and sheep are out of range. Time enough to have a short wander and photograph other things. And convert the results into 'arty' black and whites!

The handlers were having atough time and the general consensus (excuse?) was that the dogs were having trouble hearing the commands. I have my excuses for getting a load of rubbish shots. I'm not used to shooting action and my camera settings are wrong. Unfortunately that doesn't explain my cock-ups on static subjects. I'll blame the heat for messing up my thinking. The dogs certainly didn't like the heat any more than I did!

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