Of course the portfolio of any photographer in Saratoga Springs will contain photos of horses. Or things that facilitate horses and their lives. Or the people and places which are devoted to horses. Since the first ultra wealthy summer residents mounted their horses for a race down Broadway, the life and times of the city have been tied to horses.
Oh, and water. There’s lots of mineral water that the First Nations knew all about and shared with the English. Lots of water and the life that was shaped by and now surrounds that water.
And mountains. The city is on the fringe of one of the huge Adirondack Park, which is full of mountains and streams and trails and skiing and hiking and solitude and beauty and everything that is right with the outdoors. There are places of incomparable beauty and history. There are the people whom that has forged into the people that proudly declare that they aren’t flatlanders. There are the people who have been drawn to, or drawn back to, this place to make their lives and their fortunes.
But horses have been part of my life as a photographer in this part of New York State.
My work focuses on the needs that businesses and publications have for visual communications assets. My work is geared to showing people what’s what about different places. And showing them what people in this part of the world are up to. Mostly I’m a corporate and editorial photographer who takes on assignments for businesses and publications as well as industry groups and agencies. I have a secondary specialty in creating headshots for businesses and businesspeople.
So the work that you see here will be different than what you see in a lot of other photographer’s online portfolios. There won’t be a wide variety of different subjects ranging from architecture to products to the types of milestone personal events that consumers want documented that they will use to create giant prints above their fireplaces.
My career began as a full time news photojournalist. Over a couple of decades that job took me into businesses and out into the field under wildly variable conditions. It built the abilities to plan, to relate to people, to “see” into any situation of location. It also built a very strong technical base, having to respond to extremes in photographic challenges with no excuses for not bringing home images from anywhere under any conditions.
That experience was then used to branch out into my full time business of serving businesses and publications, both trade and consumer. My skill is in communicating something specific and not just making a pretty picture. I’ll make that pretty picture but will make it in a way that tells your clients or customers something about you and why your business can help them. Or showcases what’s great about your team and what they do.
This photo has been published in national magazines, on international news sites and in international publications.
Making great sunrise photos of morning workouts at the Saratoga Race Course requires advance planning and knowing how to get there on the right day at the right time. Overcast days won’t do. Rainy mornings can work, sometimes. A plain sunrise on a low humidity morning might give a brief period of nice light, but it won’t be much to work with. But a clear morning where temperatures have dropped after a humid day will produce spectacular fog around here. Sometimes it is dense and deep. Sometimes it’s a layer along the ground.
And I knew the weather conditions were right to head up the next morning for thoroughbred workouts.
My usual arrival is around 4:30 a.m. The backstretch is awake, activity is high, and workouts will be beginning soon. Time to decide what angle I want to pursue. Yes, what angle as in which “one”. The track is huge and walking around it takes a lot of time. I planned in advance for where I wanted to be, catching a view where the sun would be coming up behind the exercise riders. This angle would give me a few sub-angles to work while I was after my main subject.
Getting in position, I walked from backstretch security, working opportunities for images as they presented themselves. The walk took a long time as you constantly have to be on high alert around the horses What you do, where you stand, how you move, can have an impact on these high performing athletes. It’s easy to get someone or an animal hurt by not focusing on the horses and riders first and foremost. You don’t get to just snap away at everything you see. You don’t get to stand anywhere you want, or to move any time you feel like it.
With all of this conquered, I moved into there spot where I knew I would have a broad view of the track from a higher angle.
Then I waited. For a rider to come into view in the right spot. For the sun to rise. Frustration was mounting because a bank of clouds was obscuring the sun. But I stuck with it knowing the sun would move around them, opening up great light, if only briefly. I was further frustrated because everyone was exercising their mounts at a faster pace that morning. All it produced was low, compact “things” in the frame that were hard to tell were horses.
But I knew to stay with it. The warmth rose as the sun broke past the clouds as I’d anticipated. A rider breezed along the rail. The fog began to glow. A breezing rider came around the top of the stretch, then pulled his mount up. He moved to the center of the track, walking the horse. As the sunlight increased, the track looked like it was on fire. And I saw it. The exhaling horse creating trails of condensation from it’s nostrils. I timed my frames to catch the peak of the exhale, which disappeared almost instantly.
3 frames. I knew I had what I came for.
You Can Use This Link to reach out to me about your upcoming project or assignment.
You can give me a call at 1 (518) 843-0414
It’s always fun to hear from a new potential client, working with them to figure out their visual communications needs. It’s the first piece in the puzzle of us working together to create some great images that communicate who your company is and what you do.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY.