The annual Cheshire Game and Angling Fair in Peover, near Knutsford, Cheshire took place on a gloriously sunny Sunday. The chilly winds down by the water scurry could easily be forgiven since we were blessed with lovely golden light as it shone through the trees.
The event is both a dogs and a dog photographer’s paradise with a mixture of water and bale scurry events for them to compete in. It was wonderful to see the excitement on the faces of the dogs as they queued with their owners for their chance at competing. When it was finally their turn to compete it was a mix of determination to win the scurry, focussed on getting over the bales, to running around the edge and trying to get under the netting rather than having to jump. I also loved seeing the spectators sat watching, not only the owners, but their dogs were also watching intently at what was going on, some even barking encouragement or in some instances barking because they wanted to compete too, including one that slipped the leash and dived into the water scurry even though he/she wasn’t competing. A photo of this is lower down.
I loved capturing this shot of two of the dogs used to retrieve the dummies that dogs failed to collect during their scurry. These two dogs sat against the backdrop of the pond makes a wonderful photograph, for me it instils in me a feeling of peace and calm, also a sense of waiting, wondering when their master will return. This is the kind of shot that I love to capture as a dog photographer.
As I looked over to the crowd watching the water scurry I saw this dog looking intently at his master, possibly waiting for an instruction or is that look a please can I have a go at this. You can decide for yourself, but I think you will agree with me that it’s a lovely shot to capture.
Below are a few shots of the Bale Scurry. This is a wonderful challenge in dog photography, being at the end of the run and hoping the dog will run straight down, but dogs don’t really care about the photographer, just getting the dummy. Resulting in dogs on the left or right and the speed some of these dogs get over the bales is fantastic, so a high shutter speed is definitely needed to try and ensure a sharp shot of the dog rather than a blur of speed. The first photograph below was a fluke occurrence, as this lovely Labrador jumped the bale, her collar came flying off, as you can see, but did that slow her down…not one bit!
What a cheeky little smile from Benji as he flew over the bales, can’t you just see how much this dog was loving his down out in Cheshire.
Focussed eyes and flying ears, this one looks like he’s about to take off.
When I edit the action photographs in post processing later, seeing the smiles, but also the muscle contours of dogs in motion, showing elements of them that you don’t normally see when doing dog portraits.
Photographing the Water Scurry at the Cheshire Game Fair is more challenging than the Bale Scurry. You want the point of entrance into the water, but the only position near the edge of the pond is opposite in one tint area with lots of over hanging trees. This is actually the easy part, if you hope a dog will follow the correct route when the dummy is thrown, no chance! They are smarter than that, running along the side to an area nearer. Thankfully, some did choose the start point I was focussed on and provided some nice splash down shots.
This little one looks like he/she came down a little be harder than expected in the water going by the face.
For me, I love the colours and especially the reflection of the dog in the water, which was only possible because the spaniel decided to walk to the water’s edge. This makes a lovely outdoor portrait style shot, the green and yellows of the Cheshire countryside, the stillness of the water, as the dog tentatively raises his/her paw. Definitely, one of my favourites from the day, I hope that you like it too.
The little spaniel in the photo below is the gate crasher of the water scurry. The event assistants threw in an extra dummy, so that he wouldn’t take the one that the dog competing was collecting.
I just love the leap up in the water of this one, just shows enjoyment and the mad cap personalities of spaniels.
The day wouldn’t be complete without me having been able to get some dog portrait shots in and what better way to end the day than with this gorgeous puppy, who even though being a 12 week old baby knows exactly how to rock the camera, a little superstar in the making I think and made this dog photographer’s day.
As you can see I had a wonderful day out at the Cheshire Game Fair, lots of photos taken which can be found over on the event tab or using the links here for the Bale Scurry or the Water and Other dogs photos can be purchased directly from the galleries for those who would like copies.
Until next time, have a great week!