Thursday, 29 August 2019


I'd been told that the Kilnsey Show was held in a spectacular location and the photos I found on-line suggested that it was true. This year the show was to be blessed with warm sunshine so I gave the Hope Show a miss on Bank Holiday Monday and set off the following day for Wharfedale. For once expectations were met.

Not only is the crag something to behold, there were lots and lots of sheep. Lonks and Gritstones included. However, these two breeds were segregated from the main sheep pens. Supposedly because of a larger than usual entry to the other classes. It can't have had anything to do with Lonks hailing from Lancashire. Could it?

While there was plenty of sheep judging going on the set up wasn't great for photography. You really needed to get in the judging areas to get anything other than the run of the mill snaps. So mostly I didn't bother and tried to find other stuff to photograph. Yet again, for reasons I can't suss out, teh camera with the flippy screen refused to focus in live view and the two best framed shots I took of the trophy polishing were blurred beyond usefulness. The one frame I took conventionally is in focus, but framed so as to require a crop.

 I tried channelling Martin Parr...

Although it's the standard shot I still wanted a pictre or two featuring the crag and sheep. I tried this around the main pens, which are right below the crag. thinking I'd not need a wide angle lens, not having used it at a show all summer, I'd taken the 20mm out of my bag before I set off. Using the 24mm setting of my standard zoom I couldn't get the pens and the top of the crag in the frame except in portrait orientation. I didn't like the results much. Then I had a brain wave. The Lonk pens were further away. I'd get the crag in from back there. But would I be able to make a picture of it?

Maybe not the classic Kilnsey sheep picture. Although that's not a bad thing. Then it was out with the flippy screen and see if it would focus for me. And hope the sheep would play ball too. On the fourth frame the Lonk got it right. As did the camera. Well, near enough for me.

I had hoped to drag myself away from Lonks this time, but with them and the Grits being penned where they were I was in with a better chance of a picture or two than round the main pens. There were less spectators for one thing. I didn't get much out of the ordinary but liked this shot of arms.

Wandering over to the main pens where judging was still going on after the Longs and Grits were done and dusted I was looking out for something a bit different. Shooting with the crag behind me and from under the only shady tree in the area I framed some shots using the ash leaves. The curious Mule helps lift this one slightly above snapshot status, I hope.

At the back of the sheep pens was the sheep dog trial field. The fence of which the Lonk pens were almost butted up against. The layout was such that the pen was in easy camera range. It was possibly the best chance I could have had to get some close views of dogs and sheep and I blew it. I took a few shots before the judging, but didn't make a concerted effort.

By the time the sheep judging was over it was time for lunch, including for the sheep, at the trial.

I wandered round the rest of the show field in the hope of finding some new subjects before returning to the trials. All I saw was some toy sheep.

When I got back there was still no action, it was red hot and I was knackered. I hung around for a little while taking a few general snaps. Not every photograph has to be a picture. But maybe in years to come they will still have interest.

Then I decided to call it quits. Only managing to call in for a look at the stick tent before walking the near half mile back to the car.

More pics here.

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