Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cowboy Father-in-law

My future father-in-law is a cowboy. This past weekend I spent my mornings cleaning stalls and the rest of the day working around the farm. I don't mind that life; in fact, most of my later experiences in life cause me to miss the solitude and reflection of manual labor. There is a certain perspective that is gained from this work.

Only after a short stint of manual labor, I find both a balance and a fresh productivity with both my photography and my job as an engineer. This past weekend I also got to take some interesting photos at a barn warming event. Event coverage is not something that excites me as a photographer, but I do love photography in a way that allows me to enjoy certain aspects of event photography.

One is that it is great for tuning your eye and camera work in conditions that may not be ideal to capture moments with a limited set of equipment. Although, I admit I do find myself bored with standard event coverage photos, there is a great opportunity to have thoughtful composition and intentional communication with event coverage. People may refer to this as a more photojournalistic approach to event coverage.

Second is that this photojournalistic approach really lends itself to telling stories. What I find when I take many photos at an event is that there is a large story and many smaller stories that can be told through the photos gained, and the presentation of photos have a major influence on the audience's interpretation of the story.

If you are familiar with horse whispering you would know the magical experience of witnessing a horse being worked from the Natural Horsemanship perspective. Horses are majestic animals with several basic behavioral traits and natural instincts that allow them to be harnessed and trained to perform with passion and relationship that is unparalleled even by man's best friend. When done right the relationship between man and horse is less of a struggle and more of a partnership.

With that said, I do value presentation of work. The arrangement of photos in a particular layout, and the intentional presentation of work are just a couple of ways to make a difference in how people perceive photography. This type of post work when putting together blogs or any media takes time. I was inspired by a notion of story-telling and having many small stories within a larger story when going over these photos. So after my initial photo pick, I went back to re-pick more photos just for the purpose of presentation. While this exercise takes more work than I like to spend on my blog, It was helpful in allowing me to create story-lines and see the photo coverage as a progressive story-line.

With any event lasting more than a couple hours with a fixed number of a people, following the people and their individual stories tend to take priority over the chronological order of things, I have arranged the photos in a story-oriented manner, and I hope the smaller stories are evident and the larger story of the introduction of Cornerstone Horse Farm is clearly depicted in the capturing of genuine moments from the barn warming event.

The third aspect of event coverage that I really enjoy is the opportunity to capture candid moments that are not posed, but genuine. Moments where the camera disappears from its influence over the subjects are wonderful in my eyes.

The purpose of this barn warming event was to introduce the local and extended communities of Nashville to the services and facilities of Cornerstone Horse Farm run by Sal Landa, Horse Tamer and Lynette Villa de Rey, Event Coordinator.

This was a fairly informal event coverage for me, and I learned of the services that will be provided at Cornerstone Horse Farm during the event, but even if the exact services were not directly provided, the scene and atmosphere provided a great idea and I feel the pictures also describe the story.

Most often in my blogs, I have been presenting smaller samples of my work showing only a few photos of a particular scene. I love the way one photo can depict a dramatic story without a succession of photos or a particular arrangement to support it. But often times there are many details withheld when sharing in this way whether intentional or by accident, I am typically more interested in showing great photos than telling more complete stories. In my opinion, I favor quality over quantity.

Originally, I only wanted to post around 10 photos from the event and combine two postings into one from the weekend. I decided to take the extra time to give the event coverage a little more attention here and break out some alone time sessions I had with my fiancé for another post.

Stay tuned for pictures just from my creative time with my fiancé in which I took advantage of some opportune lighting during the event and some time at a vineyard where I was completely inspired and focused on the sun-light painting the scene so beautifully. Enjoy and thank you for your patience with all of these photos in this post!


Andy Garcia said...

This is great Toby. You could have fooled me regarding your preferences in event photography. You've captured this event wonderfully.

I especially like the flipped and merged lassoing photos. Makes you study them quite a bit to see what you've done. Really enjoyed the black and whites as well. Nice work. Keep 'em coming!

Helen said...

Beautiful pics Toby! Love the new farm!

This Clicks Photography said...

Love storytelling with photography. You do it well...

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