A couple of weeks ago I was very lucky to get invited along to a Vale of White Horse Hunt in Wiltshire by another great Country sports photographer Kay Thompson based in Cirencester whom I was introduced to on Twitter. I was keen to get some hunt images under my belt before the end of the season and after a shout out on Twitter Kay invited me along to the rather grand Vale of White Horse Hunt who met on this particular day in a village north of Swindon. Having only ever taken a few pictures on one previous hunt I was a total novice to this sport. My attraction was the spectacle of these ladies and gentlemen on horseback parading through the British Countryside with a pack of hounds leading the way.
I was not disappointed, it was a great day, full of wonderful people, laughter and an incredible sight to photograph. Here are a few of the images from the hunt. Those that attended the hunt and wanted to see more pictures please click here. The password for the gallery the name of the village where the hunt met.
Special thanks to Kay for making this possible for me and also driving me around all day!
Kay’s images from the day can be seen by clicking here
There was a beaters day at West Wycombe Park today and one thing I never have enough practice at photographing is dogs retrieving birds. I spoke to David Swallow, the head keeper who said it would be fine to hang out with the picker ups and photograph the action from the back of the field. The guns today also had several dogs amongst them who were keen to retrieve the birds too. I spent most of the day with a gentleman, David Frost, one of the writers for the Shooting Times and other shooting titles. He has 4 black lab, all whom are very well trained and excellent gun dogs. I also spent time with Tony and Alistair and their Cocker Spaniels who helped towards more great pictures. There was plenty of friendly banter going on today between the dog handlers as to the merits of their dogs, Spaniels verses Labrador……… I’m keeping out of this one!!!
Here are a few pictures, more can be found at the top of the page entitled ‘Picking up at West Wycombe’ or on my Facebook page by clicking here
For those that attended the shoot near Henley on Thames on 1st December you will be pleased to know the images are now online to view. The gallery is kept private and is only available to those that attended. The password is the hosts youngest daughter’s christian name.
I’m a photographer covering everything from portrait sessions to game day photography.
Why not treat your family to a portrait session with the dogs etc in the spring or summer next year. I am offering portrait session vouchers valued at £75 for just £25 until Christmas day. To find out more please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to contact me. Examples of my portrait photography can be found by clicking here.
Game day vouchers can be bought (in the form of a letter) for you to give the gun. The cost for me to attend a game day next year will be £200 and albums will start at £250. So a minimum value would be £200 for me to cover the game day. If you could like to give a voucher for me to attend a shoot in 2013 please contact me at info@email@example.com
Fine Art images are availailable in an array of products starting from just £10. products rangfe from Prints, canvases, furnishings and even iPhone covers. Please click on my Photo Box Gallery here.
Finally if I can’t sell you photography, how about a stick? My hobby is stick making and I am proud to make around 100 quality country sticks a year which sell like hot cakes at Christmas. To see the stock I have left and to check out my stick making website please click here www.lordscountrysticks.com
A friend of mine who is a shooting instructor recently invited me out for a day’s fishing on a boat with legendary fisherman Roger Wyndham Barnes on the River Thames in Marlow. Those that know me will say, ‘Mark, on a boat?!’ I don’t have the best sea legs in the world but this isn’t the sea so who was I to say ‘No’ to my friend. I’m not much of a fisherman myself but having grown up in Cornwall I have spent a fair few afternoons sea fishing off the rocks and piers with my mates so I was intrigued to go fishing for Pike in one of the most famous rivers of them all.
Our day started at around 8am when I was kindly invited for a full English at the Compleat Angler in Marlow, a venue I have shot many weddings at in the past but I never imagined I would be fishing one day in that stretch of the Thames seeing the hotel from a totally different angle and not a glass of champagne in sight! After our delightful breakfast we met Roger in his boat aptly named the Compleat Angler on the river bank. We stayed within sight of the Compleat Angler hotel for the day fishing in the weir pools mainly for the famous Thames Pike. It was not long before we got our first Pike which must have been the largest for the day at around 12lb. Well, with a mixture of expert knowledge from Roger Wyndham Barnes along with some good banter and plenty to eat the three men in a boat had a jolly good day on the Thames catching four Pike by the end of the day, and a few that put up a good fight and got away!
To find out more about Roger Wyndham Barnes please click here for his website or contact the Compleat Angler Hotel for more information or to book your breakfast beforehand!
Here are a few of my favourite images from the day. Oh and my dodgy sea legs? I was fine!
Ever wonder where all the birds that escape the shooting season end up in the summer? Well, on a recent trip to the Scilly Isles I spotted numerous pheasants and partridge sunning themselves on Tresco! A long migration of 30 something miles from the UK mainland to Scilly or maybe they hop on the Scillonian?
Only joking! The Tresco Estate owned by the Dutchy of Cornwall is leased by the Dorrien Smith family who run their own shoot on the island. For those that have never been to the Isles of Scilly I’d strongly recommend it. It really is heaven on earth and the Tresco estate and the Abbey Gardens are breathtaking!
I just need to get back there now for the shooting season…. Hmmmm….
To all those that attended the brilliant day of clay pigeon shooting at West Wycombe Estate for the Prince’s Countryside Fund charity shoot the pictures will be online by the end of this week. Keep an eye out or follow me on Twitter @thesportingpic for an alert once they are online! Thank you.
Today I had a shoot lined up to photograph some black labs in a wood with a carpet of bluebells. With well trained labs, helpful handlers and stunning scenery this was going to be easy… hmm apart from the dreaded April deluge we are all currently experiencing. Rather than cancel the shoot we all decided to continue with it despite the weather. With the dogs full of energy we headed to the woods for some dummy work through the bluebells. Everything worked out really well, life would have been easier if it was not so dull and wet. However, to quote an old friend ‘these things are sent to try us and are all part of life’s rich tapestry’. Well, I wasn’t quite thinking that this afternoon as we were all getting wet and cold. However, after a lovely cup of tea back at the farmhouse and some homemade flapjack I am pretty happy with the pictures taken!
Here are a few of my favourites-
Meet the team...
some got a little fed up with the man with the camera...
A bit of a splash before heading home...
...and the next generation all tucked up in the warm at home!
Thanks to Sue and Lorne and their team for their help today.