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30 November 2010

On crashes and Ollie Tait (not together!). What's a girl to do!

I'm sitting here diligently this afternoon trying to update my website with further photo galleries.  I've been good.  I've organised playmates for both kids this afternoon, tidied bedrooms (bloody lego!), and done a load of washing and the dishes.  So why is it that Adobe Bridge insists on  rewarding all my hard work and good intentions by crashing about every 10 minutes when I'm creating photo galleries!  Suffice to say that this is beginning to drive me wild!!!!!!!  

Not only does it lose anything I was in the middle of, but Bridge then, on reopening, completely forgets which folder I was working in, comes up in a different sorting order, and honestly, what's a girl to do!!!

I came across this delightful sequence of Darley's Ollie Tait during the course of my work this afternoon.  They were all taken on Golden Slipper Day, 2010, with my 500mm lens.  They disprove the theory that you can't get any people shots with a big lens on enormous carnival days.  Every now and again, you get lucky, and a lovely little gap opens up, and away you go.  Just a bit of trivia.


29 November 2010

The Fish

This is the fish.  I'm told it's a brown trout, and they said 4 lbs or something like that.  Honestly though, these sort of figures are meaningless to me.  There was no tag and release, he was dinner.  It's a decent size when one fish feeds 4 people.  I used to fish a bit, but these days am very half hearted.  I did actually catch a bream at Easter time, and that was fun, but mostly, if the fish don't jump on the line in the first 5 minutes, I'm bored stupid.  "There's no fish here!".  

Heath is very keen though and I am resigned to him being a fisherman and a hunter, taking after his dad, rather than a horse rider and overall horsey gal like me. 


28 November 2010

Will the horse be warm enough...

After a lull late in the afternoon, it's raining cats and dogs again.  And it's windy.  And cold!  I'm going to do my usual 'is my horse warm enough' worry session all night!!!!

Over the years Part I. Mr James Bartholomew Cummings

Every now and again I have to go hunting back through my image library for a particular image, and every time I do so, I am struck by the process of ageing.  I always tell myself, as I apply the inevitable changes take place to bodies and faces that ageing is far preferable to the alternative!

So I thought over time I would share some of the changes I have witnessed through the lens in the years I have been photographing on the Australian Turf.

I like photographing people.  But my style has, and always will be, to operate almost stealthily in the background, lurking from afar with a big lens.  It's the way I prefer to operate, mostly because I have an intense discomfort with being instrusive (and also getting ticked off).  But it also serves as a way of getting the best images.  They are generally the most spontaneous.  The ones that display raw emotion and thoughts, rather than the staged 'give it a kiss' image, which I don't enjoy taking.

This series begins with arguably the most influential trainer in the history of the Australian Turf.  Mr James Bartholomew Cummings, who's image I've had the privilege of recording between the early 1990s until the present day.  I threw in a couple of images here of Dato Tan, who now appears on track in a wheelchair.  It doesn't seem that long ago that he was leading Saintly in after the 1997 CF Orr Stakes.  It's only 13 years after all, but sometimes, 13 years can be a long time.  Mr Cummings has been unwell this year, and has lost a lot of weight.  I am hopeful that he will regain his prior robust look, as I am unable to contemplate a life on track without his presence.

There are two words that I use to describe the atmosphere when Mr Cummings wins a big race.  MEDIA SCRUM!  Take a moment to look in the reflection of the Cox Plate from So You Think's victory this year.  What do you see in it?  I rest my case!  I despise it, and pine for the old days, when, as you see from the wonderful - if I do say so myself - image of Mr Cummings, Darren Beadman and Saintly after the 1996 Cox Plate, it was far more civilised.  In those days, there was a respectful group of photographers that stood in an organised semi circle, all sporting an 80-200mm lens, which meant two things:
  1. That we all managed to get a shot, because no one was being greedy by getting too close with a wide angle lens, and
  2. The images were better, because we weren't all 50 cms from the noses of the subject (or victim!), which has the result - particularly with a horse - of distorting all features and pulling faces out of shape.

27 November 2010

Fallback and regroup

Two whole days of bliss.  There is not a single male in my house.  Stuart and Heath have gone fishing.  So this weekend, there is no one here to make me feel guilty for playing with horse photographs, and for getting work done that is wildly overdue.  Jessica is enjoying it too, and sneaking rides on Heath's brand new Razor scooter. 

Yes, the house is looking somewhat ordinary.  There will be NO Domestic Goddess here.  This weekend, I am too creative to clean.  It's nice to let the place slide for 24 hours.  We will get takeaway tonight on the way home from putting a rug on Freelance this afternoon, as it is supposed to rain cats and dogs tomorrow. 

26 November 2010

Nikon Walkleys on SBS, December 9, 2010 - Sport

Is there ever a time to value being a photographer more?  Gaze upon these images, they are magnificent, and they reconfirm my strong belief in the ability of a photographer's special gift.  And that is to make people stop, think, look, and look again.  It comes via the sensory gift of vision, and the ability of a camera through the eyes of a photographer to inspire feeling and emotion.  This is a great clip, filled with amazing images.

Denman, Lonhro and Octagonal Image included in Walkley Award Slideshow

As reported on the MyNikonLife website, there is a Slideshow of this year's Walkley Award entries being screened at the moment (see below).  This image (it wasn't a finalist, so no need to get terribly excited) which was an entry in the Awards has been included in the slideshow, which runs for a little over 2 minutes.  It's nice to see it included, and again, is testament to popularity of these three fabulous horses.  Thanx to my boys, you are truly wonderful!!!!!

Nikon-Walkley Press Photos in Federation Square

26 November, 2010 | My Nikon Life | News | 98 Views | 0 Comments

To celebrate the continuing excellence of the Nikon-Walkley Press Photo competition, a compilation of this year’s entries are being screened at Melbourne’s Federation Square’s large outdoor screen and inside within the Atrium area. The screenings will take place in the lead up to the winner’s announcement at the Walkley Gala dinner on Thursday, 9th of December, which will be broadcast live on SBS.

In addition, during the week of the Gala Ceremony, Qantas will be screening the same slideshow on various domestic flights as part of their in-flight entertainment program.

Nikon-Walkley Press Photos in Federation Square
Nikon Australia would once again, like to congratulate this year’s 18 finalists and the already announced Nikon-Walkley Prize winners, Brendan McCarthy (Community and Regional Photography Prize) and Cameron Laird (Portrait Prize).

This is the link to the Clip being shown.  It comes on around the 1 minute mark:

25 November 2010

Every Stick's A Snake..

I just saw my first snake for the season.   It's warm today, it's not quite summer, but there it was, as the lovely Freelance and I returned from a workout this morning.  I hate snakes!  Specially brown ones!!!  They are mean!!!!

I was leading Freelance back from the indoor arena, chattering away to her (as one does) and not really paying all that much attention, when something caught my eye.  "Oh, why is that stick moving???  Oh no, that's not a stick!!"  The snake wasn't huge, but it was crossing the road about 10 metres in front of us.  I stopped, probably uttered a four letter word, and waited.  I don't think Freelance had seen it yet.  Then the snake turned around and crossed back the way it had come, back across the road.  Pretty sure the mare has seen it by now.  "I'm frightened" I whisper to Freelance.   "So am I" she whispers back.  We wait until the snake had finished crossing (stupid thing, why on earth did you cross then turn around and come back again!!!!!), then we make our move.  I'm trying to set a good example as we walk by, like not running across the roads with your kids, and not run, but it was a pretty quick walk!!!!!

Like I said, I hate snakes!  And yes, after that, every stick was a snake, and I was more sympathetic towards the pathetically jumpy manner that Freelance had carried on with while we rode up the same road to the arena an hour earlier.  No wonder she was jumpy going past those trees!  Bloody things!  I'm also have a little evaluation of how things operate with the kids now, particularly the little extra body I inherit on certain cays, as kids and snakes do NOT mix.  There might have to be a little bit of extra 'please wait in the car while I feed the mare'.  Bloody things!

So today I have survived a snake, a really tremendous set of shies that the mare threw in up in the arena (there is an enormous monster that has taken up residence in the top corner, I hope you realise), and feel much better than I did when I set off this morning.  Riding is v. good for clearing your head and making things feel a bit better again.

This is the lovely Freelance, by the way.