Stylised photo art; the perfect Christmas gift for hunters
Pink Blue & You has so far been all about creating custom-made photo art, and this is very much still the core of my business. Alongside the custom-made photo art I’m going to be collaborating with professional photographers to create stylised photo art with their professional photos.
Cirencester is brimming with creative people, and I’m thrilled to be developing a collaboration with a local photographer, Helen Richmond. I met Helen at our children’s nursery networking evening; it’s a small nursery with a fantastic show and tell for grown-ups! Helen and I got chatting about our businesses, and the next day she sent me an email to ask if I would design a montage of a stunning collection of her photos.
Without further ado, let me show you the first of a collection of montages of Helen’s photographs of the Vale of White Horses Hunt (VWH):
Helen’s photos are stunning; she captures the real sense of drama of the Hunt, the scent in the air, the tension and the excitement from the hounds and horses. I loved working with her photos, marrying them with the perfect palette of Farrow & Ball inspired colours; the vivid red to designate the red of the Vale of the White Horse Huntsman’s coat, and the soft greens and brown depict the Autumnal English countryside. This very British tradition fascinates me, and so I asked Helen a few questions about the hunt, and how hunting works now there’s no fox!
Interview with Helen, and some of her photos to show you just how beautiful they are:
Q: Have you hunted yourself?
A: Yes, I went on my first hunt when I was 18 with the Pytchley Hunt, Northamptonshire. Fox Hunting was still legal then.
Q: Did you ride your own horse?
A: Yes, he was called Trampas, a Palomino Pony 13.3hh
Q: Did your family ride?
A: Yes. As a young man my Dad worked in the hunt service, he was a groom with the Oakley Hunt, and then went on to serve in the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery. My brother was also a Hunt groom, and he taught me to ride when I was 16.
Q: Now that hunting a fox is illegal, how does a hunt work?
A: The actual hunt is now called Trail Hunting as the hounds follow the scent of a trail set earlier in the day. This trail is set over the countryside on a duster on the end of a whip. The actual scent is taken from a big drum of fox scent, the hounds then follow the scent.
Q: If there’s no fox to catch, how do you know when the hunt is over?
A: There are 2 types of hunt; the Autumn Hunt and the Hunt. The Autumn hunt, previously called Cubbing, starts at around 6am and finishes about 9am. This hunt is for the young hounds to learn how to hunt. Hunting proper starts in November, each Hunt starting at 11am with the hounds and goes on until the light fades at around 4pm, the decision to end the hunt is made by the Huntsman (he’s the one in the bright red coat!) Each hunt has it’s own patch, or ‘country’ as it’s called (not literally).
Q: As a hunt photographer how do you keep ahead of them in order to capture the moments in these photographs?
A: When I’m photographing the Vale of the White Horse Hunt I’m out on the ground, I’m listening for the sound of the hounds speaking and the horn to able to sense which direction it’s all coming from.
Q: You must get really cold out on a shoot, what do you wear to keep warm?!
I wear plenty of layers, my Barbour wax or Pikeur padded coat, woolly hat that pulls down over my ears, Le Chemeau wellingtons (I have never had cold feet in these) and jhodpurs for comfort as I spend a lot of time getting up and down, climbing over stone walls and gates to take my photos.
Q: And lastly, I have to ask, do you join in with the traditional drink?
At the 11am Meet, I won’t usually have a glass of Port as I’m a bit busy with my camera. But I won’t say no to a piece of homemade fruit cake or hot sausage roll. It would be rude not to!
Thank you Helen for chatting to me about your work, it’s clearly more of a passion that a job and that’s how life should be! And of course a big thank you for commissioning a montage, here’s to working together and creating hunting art for Cotswold homes, pubs, hotels and restaurants…
Are you looking for a Christmas gift for someone who loves the British tradition of hunting, the great outdoors or horse riding? Pink Blue & You has the answer; a piece of stylised photo art, ready to hang on the wall above the log fire. This hunting montage is for sale, please get in touch if you would like to order one: firstname.lastname@example.org
The perfect Christmas present for the country gentleman who has everything!