Finding New Images in an Old Location
What do you do to find fresh subjects for photography when you are shooting in familiar locations?
Last week I returned for the fourth year in a row to photograph the Sap Gathering Contest at Stonewall Farm in Keene New Hampshire.
|Don't Distract the Teams|
|When There Was Snow|
Go for the Detail
When caught in a rut like this my first approach is usually to start zooming in on the details. It is interesting that I have to literally flip my cognitive "detail" switch to kick myself out of my usual "broad landscape composition mode" and start seeing this stuff. There was a wealth of detail to celebrate at the sap gathering. The expressions on the horses faces, their ornate and gleaming tack, brightly colored buckets and rusting antique farm machinery all made great subjects. Last year I focused on the misty interior of the sugar shack, but it all makes the point that the specifics often tell a more compelling story than the broad "establishing" shots.
It's All About the People
|Shootin the "Sap"|
Of course an event like this is really about the people. The drivers and assistants, the volunteers and the specters all have their roles to play in the story, and this year again I tried to focus on the faces. The participants often travel from all across New England for the event and I have come to appreciate that they are attracted as much for the comradery as for the competition. The small army of community volunteers fill many roles that are critical to the smooth operation of the contest, including staffing the gift shop, filling the buckets and keeping the evaporator running. I particular enjoyed learning from my interactions with my fellow photographers. Many of these folks concentrate on horse photography and actually know what they're doing out there! In the woods we had great fun jumping in an out of each others shot while trying to avoid disturbing the massive teams that were passing by.
|Stay Out of My Shot!|
There MUST be an Angle I Haven't Shot Before !
|By Grimes Brook|
|The Long Pour|
And A final Tip. If you want gobs of Maple syrup on your sundae, just tell the server that you are a "Professional Photographer" and you need a couple more shots to fully document the generosity of the pour.
Check out more of my images from the Sap Gathering Contest over the years at my Sap Gathering Flickr Set
Also a previous blog article about last year's contest:
You can find out about Stonewall Farms many programs on there web site .You'll find that the farm is about a lot more than just horses and sleds