A year onward from the 2017 Kentucky Summer Classic and Pony Finals, I’m looking back at many of the images I captured. Many of these only saw the light of day previously through my Instagram account, so I thought it’d be appropriate to give a complete spectrum of the the KHP experience. Some of these shots are the from the Rolex Stadium’s Grand Prix, others from the humble warm-up ring; all of them show people focused on the equine world.
St. Lawrence University’s Derby Day finished out the summer horse show season, and I was on hand to get some shots. The day started dry with a dramatic sky, but quickly turned to rain.
Did you know that a group of vultures (of the turkey variety, in this case) in a tree are called a “committee”? I’ll not over-interpret that.
High-collared jackets are the perfect (badass) gear for when the weather turns stormy but you still need to warm up outside before heading into the ring.
I spent Saturday at Horse Park at Woodside on the peninsula, photographing jumper events for The Plaid Horse. Sunburn aside, it was a productive weekend. I happened upon a particular angle near a jump where riders were forced to make a tight turn immediately after landing. That transition sideways meant some dramatic direction changes.
Some riders were even looking to the next jump around the bend while they were still in the air.
When I’m in the first row, inches from the action of St. Lawrence’s DIV I women’s hockey, there’s no better lens than my 35 mm prime. That lens let me capture this Last-Supper-esque shot of six players all chasing the puck; they’re all roughly equidistant from me, making the shot slightly flat and surreal, like a splash page in a comic book.
This picture comes with added good new: the women’s team won their first playoff game this weekend!
The regular ice hockey season has ended (and the playoffs are ahead!), but it went out on a great note: St. Lawrence crushed Brown 3–0. The very similar nature of the school colors helped the aesthetics. Then there was the actual play: the three Brown players against one St. Lawrence player about measured the balance of power. It made for some odd and dynamic hockey.
The ice hockey season is winding down in the North Country (always much earlier in the winter than I expect), but I captured the last of the women’s games at St. Lawrence’s Appleton Arena. The school is on mid-winter break, so the crowd in the wonderful, old, wooden bleachers are a bit thin. We cheered all the harder when the Saints crushed higher-rated Quinnipiac 3-0.
Watching the Women’s Ice Hockey team cruise to victory over Dartmouth was satisfying from both the standpoint of a fan (Here we go, Saints!) and from the standpoint of a photographer. Though I know that my 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens will forever be the patron saint of action photography, I really enjoy the challenge of shooting with a 35 mm prime lens. Appleton Arena is a gorgeous old rink with acres of wood, and the less extreme lens gives me the chance to capture the action and the ambiance from the standpoint of a fan in the front row.
In a moment of digression from my normal focus on landscapes: I’ve been inspired lately by the street photography of Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson, who captured images of humanity in the “real world.” People living their lives. Perhaps it’s not traditional street photography, but for today’s photograph, I have this shot from Saturday night’s hockey game: SLU vs. Yale. Though the Saints lost, they looked great doing it. The ferocity of this imminent check captivates me.
Fire gains an unearthly, extra-sinister quality when HDR reveals the true extent of its tempestuous geometry. (The convenient “Office Burn Demonstration” cropping only added to the effect.) Knowing intellectually what a fire at work can do is very different from seeing the full effect, and I have to admit that I found the example presented by Canton’s fire department to be chillingly effective. (Pardon the temperature puns.)
We visited the Vermont Summer Festival this weekend and watched the Grand Prix with its 1.45 meter jumps. The physicality of horse jumping five feet into the air never gets old, but my favorite part has to be the facial expressions and the activities of the riders who muscle these equine missiles around the course.