I love the pageantry of the horsey set, like four-in-hand carriage races and fox hunts (especially if the fox gets away), because these activities are just so downright photogenic. Recently, in my never-ending quest to improve my multimedia chops (in the hopes that someday, somewhere, a client will actually pay for this skill set!), I sent myself to the annual Point to Point race at Winterthur in the Brandywine to shoot and gather sound for an audio slide show.
There were a fair amount of guys there shooting seriously, with big motor drives and long, fast, glass. Ever since my early days on the staff of the Hudson Dispatch, I’ve always felt intimidated going to sporting events to shoot because, frankly, I don’t know much about sports and consequently, I’m pretty bad at shooting them!
Plus the fact that by the time I was able to afford those giant cameras and lenses, my back was too bad to carry them:-). But I managed to be the only guy to get this shot (both the horse and rider were okay). Hit the jump for the reason why.
Well, there are two reasons…one was pure old dumb luck. Careful readers of this blog will remember that I’ve been accused of being lucky by some pretty high powered people in this business . It is an accusation that I always like to counter with the argument that the “harder you work, the luckier you get.”
I wandered from the guys at the start and finish lines (the two logical places to catch important moments) because, well, the backgrounds on those shots were busy and ugly, and I really didn’t care about who won or lost any given race. I just wanted to make a clean, attractive picture.
So I found the gate with a nice, non-distracting background (instead of the highway and the phone lines the prime locations offered), and this is the key and second reason, I went back there for every darn race for the rest of the afternoon! That’s right, the second reason I got the shot is plain old dogged persistance.
It’s been my experience that dogged persistance will outdo native talent on a regular basis. If you have both, you are indeed blessed. Some of my best friends have both (and I still like them!). But if you’re a mere mortal stuck with only one of those qualities, you’d better hope that it’s dogged persistance….