Through the Lens: Doggy tale has a happy ending but horse racing still baffling

Through the lens

Through the lens - Credit: Archant

IN our weekly feature, our team of professional news photographers share their favourite assignments and offer tips for budding snappers.

A preview to the horse racing season at Newmarket with trainer William Haggas.

A preview to the horse racing season at Newmarket with trainer William Haggas. - Credit: Archant

Su Anderson was delighted to be handed an assignment that was very familiar to her.

Kerry Fuller, Laura Michie, Sarah Michie and Ella O’Riordan had shell power dressed as the Teenage M

Kerry Fuller, Laura Michie, Sarah Michie and Ella ORiordan had shell power dressed as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the Great Xscape for St Elizabeth Hospice - Credit: Archant

She said: “It’s not often that I get to follow-up on an assignment I’ve covered before because photographers are given assignments based on location and shifts rather than a specific desire to shoot something. I did, however, get to photograph Lottie in her new home after being adopted by the Wolf family.

“I had photographed Lottie a few months previously at the RSPCA in Martlesham for a story on how many Staffies need rehoming. Lottie was such a poser I got the best photo of her that day.

“A few weeks later I was inputting a submitted photo from the courts that showed a dog severely starved and I realized that it was Lottie, though she was called something else a the time. I quickly told the reporter on the case that I had a nice after photo of Lottie looking healthy and it was added to the story.

“Lottie is now happily rehomed with a family in Felixstowe.”

• Tip- I have been around many Staffies and I don’t find them very aggressive in the right situation but be careful not to get past their comfort zone, as Lottie let me know when my wide angle was getting too close.

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Click on our gallery, top right for more photos of Lottie.

While Su photographed the now well-fed Lottie, colleague Phil Morley has been learning more about a slightly larger four-legged species.

He said: “Brown horses seem to run the fastest. That is the extent of my horse-racing knowledge I realised as I found myself on a bus full of knowledgeable horse-racing reporters for the pre-season tour at Newmarket talking about ‘form’ and ‘tips’.

“Our first stop was at the gallops where we squeezed onto a media viewing platform as the horses galloped past in the blink of an eye.

“As well as the close-up action shots I grabbed a couple of wider shots to include the gallops meandering off into the distance and the misty morning to give a sense of location.

“We then went to the stables of trainer William Haggas where we photographed his top horses for the coming season. The world’s media were fully focused on the horses and Mr Haggas, so as reporters jostled for prime position, I turned my camera on them to get a sense of the occasion and show the power of the press when out in force.”

• Tip - A fast shutter speed is essential to freeze the action at a fast-paced event.

Another event that can be fast=paced is the annual Great Xscape, held in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice.

Su explained: “Groups are blindfolded, taken out to an unknown location, dropped off with a basic kit and compass and left to find their way back tp base.

“Most teams dressed in fancy dress for the occasion including Kerry Fuller, Laura Michie, Sarah Michie and Ella O’Riordan who channelled their internal shell power to dress as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was a huge TMNT fan when I was a kid so I had to seek them out and photograph them.

•Tip- You want a shallow depth of field to blur out the background, but since the girls are not all on the same plane of focus, you need a larger aperture to make sure they are all in focus. This photo was shot around f4 to get the best of both.

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