Tag Archives: horse

Charlie Jumping the Horse

I’m not sure what is was that prompted this but something made me think about shooting action sports and I remembered a time I was visiting my friends Jon and Charlie in the UK.  Charlie has always been an active horsewoman and has raised many horses, some of which she has jumped competitively.  They have a jumping area in one of the fields of their farm and she was interested in getting some photos of her jumping this horse.  (Something makes me think this was Grace but I am probably mistaken.)

I was keen to give it a go and was also interested in what angles would be most interesting/dramatic.  Of course, they couldn’t just keep jumping all the time to allow me to try different things so we had to give some ideas a go and move on.  I would like to have had some remotes with me to have set the camera up in some dramatic spots.  Maybe I can come back guys and have another go sometime?

An interesting part of this was seeing what things are of interest for different people.  The shots Charlie liked the best were the ones as the horse is coming down to the ground again.  Apparently that works well for her and is popular with other horse people. For me it made for an awkward looking shot.  (Maybe it is good for evaluating technique?). I liked the ones when the horse is just coming up over the fence as it looks more dynamic and elegant.  It’s strange how different things make a shot good for different people.

An Intimidating Statue!

The walk back from the Imperial Palace grounds to the station took me by a statue.  This was an impressive looking warrior on horseback.  The weathering of the statue, the shadows cast by the high light and the intensity of the expressions of both him and his horse quite caught my imagination.  I found myself wandering around all side and starting at this work for quite some time.  As a whole it was impressive but I loved looking at the details and the sense of motion the artist had captured.

Bricktown at Night

wpid11477-AU0E0972.jpgAs part of the regeneration program that is underway in Oklahoma City, an area known as Bricktown is becoming a focus of development. It is a short walk from the heart of downtown. What was there before I don’t know but I imagine bricks had something to do with it. There are a lot of restaurants, bars and hotels in the area with a canal structure running through them. It is also the home of the minor league baseball stadium.

wpid11475-AU0E7630.jpgI stopped off for dinner one night after wandering around the city a bit.   After my meal, I was walking back to the hotel and grabbed a few shots of the area. It was pretty dark and I had the ISO ramped way up but you can get a bit of a feel for the area. You can also see the lights of the baseball stadium in the background. I guess that they had a game that night. There are also horse drawn carriages plying their trade on the streets. This was a familiar sight when we lived in Chicago. They have gone to town on the lighting of these examples though. I guess it helps get some attention.

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Beaulieu

wpid7728-C59F7165.jpgContinuing our UK trip, we were still in the New Forest and I wanted to visit Beaulieu.  It is many years since I have been to Beaulieu.  My grandparents took me there once and we went with the school on one occasion too.  However, I wasn’t interested in visiting the motor museum on this occasion.  Certainly, if I had a lot more time, I would have loved to take a look around but we didn’t have that much time.  Instead, I wanted to see the village which, judging by some pictures I had seen online, looked like it was very picturesque.

wpid7734-C59F7214.jpgFirst, though, I had to stay awake.  As we drove there, I was feeling rather drowsy.  Not a good state to be but hardly surprising given how long I had been awake.  When we got the village, I put the seat back and had a nap for a few minutes.  This was a big help.  Nancy was tired but not able to nap so she checked out a tea shop while I closed my eyes.

wpid7724-C59F7162.jpgWe then took a walk around the village.  It is by a river and is very pretty.  Lots of small houses and shops combined with a big green area all alongside the estate of the Earl which now houses the motor museum.  What I hadn’t realized is how much wildlife wanders around.  Yes there were ducks and swans.  I didn’t know that cows, horses and donkeys were loose in the area.  The donkeys seem to like the shops and apparently walk in if they feel like it.  The horses and cows were grazing on the more grassy areas but if they needed to get somewhere, they would walk up the street and trucks coming the other way would just have to wait.  Could I come up with something more English for our first day back?

Halloween at the Zoo

Whether it is the weather or whether it is some subconscious thing, it appears that we get lured to the zoo at Halloween.  The weekend weather forecast looked very promising so we thought we pop out to Brookfield to see what the animals were doing.  It was only when we got there that we realized that, being Halloween weekend, everyone was there in costumes.

This triggered something from our recollection that we had done the same thing last year.  Let’s go to the zoo when everyone else is planning on being there and all dressed up!  (I will leave my thoughts on Halloween for another post I suspect.)

As it turned out, the center area of the zoo was very busy but the rest of it was no busier than most weekends.  The sun was out and the animal were active so it was a good time to go.  We got particularly lucky with a couple of things.

I have never seen the kangaroos move before.  They have always been lying down taking a nap when I have been there.  Sometimes, this is tucked up against the  wall for extra shade.  However, this time they got up and fed for a while and even hopped across the enclosure.  That was a big plus.

Next we arrived at the brown bear enclosure and the staff were seeding the place with vegetables for the bears to find and feed on.  Consequently, we got a couple of grizzlies rummaging around the enclosure for a long time.  Given their love for dozing this was a result.  I guess the polar bears had already been fed since they were out for the count.

The lions are always a stop for us.  The male was lying down and looked like he was falling asleep.  A lion roaring has a very small mouth shape which doesn’t look like much.  A lion yawning, on the other hand, has a wide mouth and lots of teeth.  A good photo opportunity!  A little patience and we were rewarded with a big view of fangs!  As an aside, lions are not empathetic creatures since we tried yawning a bunch of time to try and induce a yawn but to no effect!

Out last stop was the leopard.  Normally another one having a nap when we are there, this time he was also on the prowl.  We only had a few minutes before it was time to lie down again but even so, this was better than normal.  Not a bad day out!