||Entry into the world of photography started with leathercraft 35 years ago. A chance gift of a leather-work kit from my wife resulted in the progression to learning how to make saddlery and harness with James Alcock, a South Australian saddler/harness maker. To expand these skills and gather ideas, attendance at carriage driving events provided the opportunity to see different types of harness in use and relate it back to books to ascertain its appropriateness or otherwise. Not being able to spend the inspection time needed at the event, the idea to photograph individual harness for later revue was put into practise. Whilst initially the horse and carriage was not the main focus, gradually to get the overall picture the whole outfit|
was included in the pictures. In those early days, photos that were not required were given to the relevant competitors. Word got around and we were invited to an increasing number of equine events. As demand grew, harness specific photos became secondary.
Since that time we have been attending combined driving events, carriage driving spectaculars and the Royal Adelaide Show, to name a few, recording events as they happened and making increased sales along the way. At the same time we kept a copy of every photo taken, which has now grown into quite a collection. Given the strong South Australian content, what had been unintentionally created was a pictorial history of carriage driving in S.A., which continues to grow as the years go by.
A lot of my photos are opportunity shots and are not posed. The challenge is to be able to anticipate - to be in the right spot at the right time to capture the moment, be it the excitement and action of a competitor negotiating a marathon obstacle at speed or the joy on the face of a young child experiencing their period turnout debut, participating in the grand parade or winning their first ridden ribbon.
The collection is made available to those associated with the sport for promotional purposes and the Australian Carriage Driving Society and the Adelaide Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society are two of those who are currently taking advantage of the opportunity. In addition, my marketing and computing experience in the corporate world have enabled us to use the accumulated photos to produce material which supports and promotes the sport as part of our involvement with the Gawler Plains Carriage Driving Association and the Australian Carriage Driving Society.
Over the last five years, by request, the scope of my equine photography has continued to broaden beyond carriage driving, and now incorporates selected South Australian annual breed shows and ridden shows associated with the South Australian Paint, Welsh, Shetland, Miniature, Side Saddle and Quarter Horse bodies, to name but a few.
To date, the highlight has been attending the Australian International Carriage Driving event at Young NSW in 1998 and seeing some of the best drivers from England, Canada, New Zealand and Australia compete. In particular, the skills of Englishman George Bowman as he drove an Australian team of four around the marathon course and negotiated the obstacles.