I'm not sure if it was the heat but I didn't seem to be able to find my groove with the poultry. Although I did get a couple of additions to the files. One of the inspection of birds on arrival and one at the end of the day as people queued for their prize money. One chap was eager and got in before the rush to pick up his £1.
As well as the poultry tent I wanted to hang around the sheep pens. Unfortunately they were as far apart on the showfield as possible. This meant me getting even hotter walking back and forth and standing around in the open being thankful I wasn't wearing a thick fleece like some of the sheep.
The sheep gave me some new opportunities. Having arrived before opening time I was there while sheep were being unloaded and titivated prior to the judging. I still didn't make the most of the opportunity though. There can be quite a bit of last minute preparation. Horns to be oiled legs to be whitened. I'm not sure what 'fleece fix' is, but I imagine it to be some kind of hairspray!
Looking out for unusual angles, as much as for unusual things, is what keeps the mind active at events where a lot is happening. They don't always work, but can give a basis for improvement at a later date.
Another thing to look out for is the comedy element. Being ready for it and acting quickly enough to get a well framed a picture is a challenge. I just about managed with the impromptu sheep wrestling display, but missed the lamb juggling by a mile
A reluctant Lonk was less of a challenge.
Being a Lancastrian I've developed a respect for Lonks. They make those smiling Swaledales and grinning Herdwicks look like softies. Derbyshire Gritstones are almost as tough. Not just hardy sheep, they're proper 'ard sheep!
As usual, whenever someone on Talk Photography mentions Martin Parr (as someone did in relation to his Chelsea Flower Show photos on the Guardian site) there is a volley of derision in response. They're just snapshots. Anyone on TP could have done better. Etc.
With this in mind I spent my time walking between my two mainplaces of interest deliberately looking for the Parresque and trying to imitate his style. And he does have a style. The things I noted were that seeing Parr-type subjects isn't all that easy, having the bottle to take the photos is harder, and that I have a different way of both seeing subjects and framing my shots. If I had spent the whole of my time wandering the showfield I might have managed to get a reasonable crop of pictures. I spent around six hours with a camera in hand, coming home with 577 frames (many were deleted on site). Regardless of imitating Parr or doing my own thing I still didn't manage too many decent pictures. Plenty of 'fillers' and scene setters, but not many 'good ones'. I even had to crop one...
Possibly my most Parresque below.
A mixed bag of sheep, poultry, dogs and people can be seen in the not-as-good-as-Martin-Parr-would-have-done gallery. Do I venture to Yorkshire in a fortnight to try and improve? There will be poultry - and more Lonks...