Last weekend was my last scheduled show of the year, the Del Mar Dressage Classic. This was the show’s second year, and although the entries were down because of a variety of reasons (not the least of which is the sagging economy), Kim Keenan and her crew run a fabulous competition. She takes the sow’s ear of the ShowPark covered arena and turns it into a navy and white silk purse. It looks so lovely, even those who ride there every day hardly recognize the place when Kim gets done with it. There are always lots of fresh flowers and carefully crafted skirts for the judges’ tables, and tasteful sponsor banners. There are always yummy treats for the judges, workers and riders, too!
From a photographer’s point of view, even with all of Kim’s work, that arena is still a difficult shooting situation. The light is limited, and much of it spills in behind the horses, creating halos around the riders’ heads. It’s in places like this that all my studying of post-processing comes into play. One of my customers, who had received prints from the spring Dressage Affaire in the same arena, insisted that I sprinkled “Terri Dust” on the pictures to make them pop.
But the light outside….. Oh, that light was amazing. It’s the golden light of the shank of the year, when even noon is lemon colored, and on sparklingly clear November days like we had last weekend, the afternoons turn rosy as the sun sets over the Del Mar beaches.
It might have been a small show, but with horses like Ravel (fresh from the Olympics), Kingston, Tip Top, Rafalca and Rociero XV, it was was large on talent!
Proofs from the Dressage Classic have been posted. If you signed up for photos, you should have already received your password. If you didn’t sign up, check the gallery — if you see your name next to a gallery thumbnail, that means there are pictures for you! You can select Sign Up For Photos in order to view your gallery.