Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Story Behind the Photos

In my effort to take pictures of the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show for this blog, I got myself into some trouble. When I attempted to take pictures of some beautiful show clothing hanging in a vendor's booth, a woman stopped me and said I wasn't allowed to take pictures of the clothes. "Why is that?" I asked out of curiosity.

At first I thought she was worried that the flash might ruin the material or something bizarre like that. She said, "Because the clothes are proprietary."

I must have formed a puzzled expression on my face, because no one had stopped me from taking pictures of riders wearing that custom show clothing, but for some reason I couldn't take pictures of the show clothing on the hangers. Then she said, "The owners just bought these and they don't want others to know what they will be wearing."

Okay. That sort of made sense. It's kind of like showing up to a formal affair in something you spent a fortune on, and not wanting anyone else to show up wearing the same thing. That's why so many riders buy custom-made clothing. However, if the saleslady was so concerned about secrecy, I did wonder why she had those clothes hanging right out in the open for every competitor walking past to see. At any rate, I respected her wishes and went on my way. I wanted to take pictures of the jewelry cases and more pictures of tack, but was afraid someone would have some reason to stop me from doing that.

Here's the Equidome judges booth...

I love those plush leather couches.

Here are the judges' limosines. They had the premium parking spots right behind the park office and the restrooms.

The indoor arenas did not lend themselves to good picture-taking conditions. A flash doesn't help from that distance, yet it was dark enough inside that the lens opened too long to get an action shot without it turning out blurry. So, I quickly learned to only take pictures of horses standing still in the line up while in the indoor arena.

The outdoor shots were a piece of cake. I was even able to capture native costume riders at the hand gallop.

That is if I could click the shutter fast enough.

Oops, there she goes in the other direction.

There were a number of names and faces I recognized from the Arabian horse world at the show. I saw Sheila Varian driving around in a gold cart. I've always admired the horses she breeds. This is David Boggs, another well-known Arabian horse breeder and trainer.

The barns were decorated to the hilt. Flags with stallion names and winning ribbons were proudly displayed.

I had to be creative in my picture taking, because it seemed that everywhere I went, other people thought I knew something they didn't know, and they would crowd around me, thus ruining my chances of getting unobstructed shots. In one case I had a lady beside me and a man behind me crowding in so close that they were rubbing up against me and bumping my backpack. I had to keep looking over my shoulder to make sure they weren't picking my pocket.

After getting too many uninteresting shots of horses and riders in the indoor lineup, I started positioning myself in the outdoor staging area to get pictures of the riders as they entered the arena. Other photographers saw what I was doing and started doing the same thing. Unfortunately, that didn't work out so well, because the horses and riders exiting the arena often obstructed my ability to get photos of those entering the arena. That's how quickly they kept the classes moving.

This is just a taste. There are many more (and better) pictures to come.


Anonymous said...

LOL, I used to work for David Boggs.

JeniQ said...

Great pictures NuzzMuzz - the customes are so gorgeous.

fernvalley01 said...

I met Sheila Varian years ago ,here in a clinic .Quite the lady! and amazing horses!
Pics look good so far

Maery Rose said...

It always amazes me how much money can be involved in the horse show world. I get pretty intimidated by some of the show people. I just walk around with saucer eyes.

Sydney said...

Crazy big show. I bet the classes were zooming by.

lytha said...

oh dear, now we're balding horses' entire faces?? (boggs) i am so ashamed.

please tell me it's not so, that that horse was an exception.

looking forward to hearing more,


Leah Fry said...

I was uncomfortable taking photos when I went to the Appaloosa World Show, so I know what you mean. I was afraid to take flash photos when people were performing. But that was the day my camera punked and I ended up having to service it, so I didn't have a choice.

Can't wait to see more. Meet any bloggers?

Cheryl Ann said...

I understand your frustration. I've only been told, I think...TWICE...that I couldn't take photos! And, that was at our local street fair! Some people just don't understand our hobby, I'm afraid! Nice photos! The horses are BEAUTIFUL!!! Wow!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Leah - I did not meet any bloggers. She show was just too big and without having phone numbers or email addresses ahead of time, we couldn't connect. I did see, like I mentioned, my neighbor friend and also one of my horse trainers, but they were too busy showing to talk.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I've yet to have anyone question me at a horse show while taking photos. Of course, I'm always grinning like a fool, just happy to be there. Maybe you have a secret agent kind of look, NM? hehe!

Looks like a frentic, fun experience! Don't you just love the energy that goes on at these shows?