just a day

Photography connects you with people in a way i never really anticipated and not just with those in front of the lens but those who share your creative passion ‘photo nerds’ they are everywhere.  Last weekend i drove about a 6 hour round trip to hang out with some fellow photo humans at Bayleys Rotorua Spring Show this seems somewhat ridiculous when you consider they live a mere 20 minutes down the road. But what a joy, the sun shone, i didn’t need gumboots, the organisers were wonderful. Caught up with some Eventing folk out for a run and hunting for some better post winter footing. I became enamoured with a cute grey horse. I met a man who worked as a shepherd at Lochinvar station in his youth (he said it was the coldest he had ever been, and he went to the South Island to warm up), we talked about family, horses and the like. Introduced myself to a puppy who needed absolutely needs his own instagram account #instafame (Highland Scottish i think?). I fell in love with Hillman Hunter. Had a deserted drive home after an accident closed SH1 at Wairaki. The strangeness of driving a totally empty, normally busy road is nice, but a little unnerving.   Then i took this picture; which came out looking like this, on a moment, that looked just like this.  Sometimes nature just gets it so very right. Thats a lot to pack in one day  #photonerdsontour #thebestofdays #irelevant#’sforever


sunshine and promise

No Summer is complete without a sneaky visit to the yearling sales.

For the uninitiated this sale brings together; breeders, trainers, buyers, prospective owners, vets and an equestrian workforce; some permanent and some seasonal.  Young thoroughbred horses change hands to begin new working lives in the racing industry both in New Zealand and overseas. Some will be winners, some will not.  The great game/drama is watching those in the ‘know’ figure out which is likely to be in which group.    These days the sales are littered with hospitality and touched lightly with the wand of bling. The air is full of mystique and everywhere quiet murmured conversations abound.   There is much leaning on fences and pouring over catalogues.

I like to be here late in the sales; late in the day when the crowd is thin on the ground and those left are those in the mood to buy, a bargain perhaps, hoping for the one who will outperform all the others.

where to from here?

Breeches of copyright are the main topic on conversation in any gathering of Equestrian photographers, anywhere, anytime.  Nothing gets them hotter under the collar faster than this.  My non equestrian photographer friends are honestly flabbergasted by the situation and find it incomprehensible that people in the equestrian community actually do this.
Not only is it illegal, absolutely every rider loses when one decides to disregard the rules; show photographers are becoming frustrated beyond belief and I believe will be more reluctant to share images in an open format as time goes on.  Eventually all riders will miss out not just those ignoring the rules. Finding a show photographer in the future will be harder than finding a cassette tape in a modern teenagers room.
I think it displays extraordinary rudeness and disrespect. Personally i believe that some of the answer lies within the riding community itself. If i see an image on any social media page, watermarked, not shared with no photo credit (irrespective of who took it) i absolutely refuse to like it, even if its fabulous.  By and large people are generally posting to acquire likes and attention, if the attention is not given to an image used in an inappropriate manner the reward will be minimal.
As a photographer I chose not to take, edit or post pictures of riders that i know to have misused images on any platform, whether the image is one of mine or taken by the wealth of fabulous talented photographers in NZ. I simply do not bother to invest my limited time on those people.
Ask yourself this?
How would you feel if someone was posting images from your timeline?
the article that got me thinking about this again in the first place and a picture of a giraffe because they are fabulous


The other day i had a creative meeting of sorts, with myself. I left the office and found a place with lots of noise and distractions so i could concentrate better.

On the agenda was this;   if absolutely no one was watching or liking what would you be compelled to continue to shoot, and in what style would you shoot it?

Clearly people and horses feature form a strong component of my work.  The answer however is as clear as a mist laden, rainy Sunday.   So while i have a glimpse, of what it would look like, i think the path to really understanding might be best defined by the very act of doing.

Im intrigued to see where it goes.






The other day while I was sitting in traffic, it’s an Auckland ‘thing’, i thought how much i would like a zebra.  Then i wondered albeit briefly, why they had never really become domesticated or interbred with horses.  Then the traffic moved and that was the end of it.

Until yesterday when an article from 2011 about Zac a show jumping zebra from Texas, popped up in my news feed.  The wonderful world of Goggle produces a wealth of ridden zebras, my very favourite, Osa Johnson. Osa with her husband Martin, were adventurers and film makers who i had never heard of until about 2 minutes ago.  orsa-johnson-daily-mail

image from the daily mail; many of the images come via Getty images but i cant find this one listed there


They seem like really interesting people, I suspect i would like to know more about them. 

Even stranger I found a show jumping Giraffe, all this left me thinking where would we be without Traffic, and the most wonderful world of Goggle.



Further Information:
Zac the show jumping Zebra from Texas


Orsa Johnson





Apparently there are around 40,000 plus formerly wild horses held in holding facilities by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) in the US.   Some are adopted, but as the numbers tell us, a lot are not.  I understand that in the latest meeting they have voted in favour of killing all those they currently have in holding.  This is such a gnarly subject. But looking at the adoption page helps to demonstrate the scale of the horses currently in care.

The New Zealand experience with the Kaimanawa wild horses has taught us that impassioned people, cross agency communication, dedicated followers, great trainers, and a strong organisation committed to saving horses can move mountains, it is a success story to be proud of.  One can only hope that such a rare combination of ‘awesome’ can be repeated and create new lives for these horses.

If you feel moved to comment please send your comments here;


Further Information:

Breaking News: BLM’s Wild Horse Advisory Board Just Voted To Kill All 44,000 Captive Wild Horses In Holding


if you feel really driven here are the members on whose shoulders this decision falls;


*Ms. Ginger Kathrens was the sole member not to support the edict.










Finding time in a busy world

As the spring season is just a blink of the eye away, I am planning my new season adventures as precisely as any 4* event rider.  This also means putting last season’s work to bed. But all this does is highlight the myriad of things i intended to write about or do further work on and just never found the time.  So, I am casting aside any ‘grand designs’ and squeezing this in while ignoring all of the things that i  should be doing.  Life is like that these days, if we wait until we have the time it may never happen. Perhaps we just need to find a few minutes in every day to sneak something we really want to do. So I am parking my strategy of waiting for that elusive free time, in favour of just sharing a few simple pictures that hopefully tell a little bit of a story, one that i quite like.


sat amdg-933-2-Editsat amdg-935-2-Edit