Archive for category Foxhunts

Photo Essay: Rappahannock Hunt (September 12, 2010)

The photo essay is posted at KLM Images.

Before the meet begins

Arm & arm

While the iconic photos of foxhunting at the start of the meet involve hunt staff posed with their hounds ready to hunt, you can find many things of interest to look at well before that point, beginning with the hound trailer.

Whenever I meet a hunt for the first time, I try to be especially diligent about getting shots of the hounds.  I can’t capture their foxhunting abilities with a camera, but I can start to get a feel for their personalities and to identify some of the individuals.  Paying attention to the hound trailer is a good start.

Each hunt’s setup is a bit different, depending on the sort of trailer they use.  Often you are restricted to a view of noses through slits which, while amusing, is a bit limited.  In this case, the interaction between one hound and the huntsman captured some accidental symmetry. Read the rest of this entry »

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Photo Essay: Old Dominion Hounds (September 11, 2010)

The photo essay is posted at KLM Images.

Shadow as second subject

Creative use of shadows

Always be alert for unexpected bonuses.  I did not deliberately frame this shot to capture the shadow, too; I just tried to place myself in such a way that the subject was well lit.  But when I looked at the results afterward, I was pleased to see two subjects striding along the horse trailer, not just one.

Picking hounds out of the pack

A study of hound heads

There’s a lot of action in a pack of hounds, but many complications as well.

No matter how small the group, at least one (usually right in the center of the frame) is doing something you don’t want to record for posterity.  Even when they are all well-behaved, they may be arranged unhelpfully, with heads buried, shadows cast on each other, and so forth. Read the rest of this entry »

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Photo Essay: Blue Ridge Hunt (September 6, 2010)

The photo essay is posted at KLM Images.

Dark outside

Junior whip in the rising sun

Cubbing is typically done very early in the day so that the temperature remains as cool as possible.  This presents a real challenge to photography of course, since the sun is often barely over the horizon.

The human eye adjusts so well to low light conditions that it’s easy to forget the camera needs much more help.  When choosing between moving subjects (shutter speed) and dim light (open aperture, shallow depth of field), I typically go for speed, since going for light gives me two problems instead of one, but the result will sometimes be rather grainy (high ISO).  My husband was out with me taking pictures, and I was able to compare the well-lit but blurred-by-movement shots from his point-and-shoot camera, confirming me in my choice.

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Photo Essay: Old Dominion Hounds (September 4, 2010)

The photo essay is posted at KLM Images.

Can you spot the camouflaged hound leaning on the horse?

Lovely hounds

This was the first day of cubbing for the Old Dominion Hounds.

As sometimes happens, all the hunting activity took place off-stage, from the perspective of the car-followers.  We got to watch them leave and return, and in-between there was much appreciation of the lovely scenery and occasional faint echoes of hounds and horn.

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Photo Essay: Blue Ridge Hunt (August 28, 2010)

The photo essay is posted at KLM Images.

An exercise in monochrome

The good and bad of misty mornings

Cubbing starts early in the morning to avoid as much of the late summer heat as possible.  The big challenge was to take effective pictures near dawn in low light and exceptionally heavy mist.  The Blue Ridge Hunt kennels are near the Shenandoah River at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the mist from the river was persistent. There were patches of dense fog just a few yards from bright sunlight.

One of the whippers-in was mounted on a grey horse that was exceptionally photogenic in the lighting conditions.  I took many shots (and published a few) exploring how much you could get out of essentially colorless scenes.  The lighting controlled which were silver and which were sage.

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Introduction

Glad you’ve dropped by to take a look.

So why this blog, did you ask?  Well, I’ve been creating photo essays for my hunts and their associated activities for a few years, over at KLM Images.  I’ve been wanting to talk about it, not just show it, so it’s time for a blog.

The ecosystem in Virginia for sporting photographers is well-populated with many talented folks, and there are also many hunters and friends of hunting with budding photographic ambitions.  I learn from all of them and would like to provide a place for the discussion of some of the pleasures and challenges in what we do.

Three hounds of the Blue Ridge Hunt dance with delight to join the pack on a hunting morning

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