I drove down to cheshire today to photograph the Cheshire Drag Hunt in action. I arrived early and was able to talk to most of the people there and explained my intentions and to find out how there days runs. Each hunt runs slightly differently and depending on the riders and their abilities can effect the way the route changes. I tried to set up my white background but the wind was too strong and I couldn’t risk it blowing into one of the horses. I managed to get a couple of portraits of the riders before they left but I was not there priority and although I had spoken to quite a few of them they just rode off.
I was then following the hunt by car for the rest of the day. The light was great and I could have used the flash but with no assistant and the horses moving all the time it was very difficult. I managed a few shots at the end of each section while the riders took a break but nobody dismounted as they can’t get back up so I was forced to shoot the riders and horses mounted. This is an awkward position to shoot and nothing like my original plan. the hunt finished and everyone dashed about getting the horses ready for the road and then drove home. I was very disappointed with the day over all but it has tough me a great deal about what I need to do next time to be ready and to capture the images I need.
New Plan. I have decided to photograph the riders and the hounds in the field without a white background I will follow the hunt over the day and shoot the portraits at the end of each leg. I will have an assistant to help me carry lights and setup as I will have a very limited time with each model. there should be about four legs on the day and I will make sure I am at the end of each one. I will also make sure I have organised portraits for the end of the hunt so I can capture images of the riders at the end of the day all muddy and sweaty.