A new addition to this year's Andoversford Races was a display of images from camera clubs around the county, organized by the Cheltenham Camera Club in association with the racecourse. Over 40 images were selected for the competition, co-sponsored by Hotel du Vin, London Camera Exchange & Louella fashion boutique in Winchcombe.
The winner was adjuged to be Greg Carstensen's Broadway Tower, Starry night.
Greg remarked, "The inspiration for this photograph came from a talk at the Cheltenham Camera Club by Alyn Wallace who is an astro-landscape photographer. So, when the weather conditions presented themselves, I set off at 10pm on a snowy, cold night to Broadway Tower, not only because of the Tower but possibly to least light polluted part of the Cotswolds.
This genre of photography is a huge departure from my medium format, long exposure, analogue film, black & white approach. Astro-landscape is a genre that I am keen to explore further, possibly in black and white. Having been awarded 1st place is certainly an encouragement to continue exploring this approach."
In second place is an image in which all racing fans will recognize both the anguish of running horses and of course, the man himself - none other than the versatile Festival winning trainer Gary Moore.
The image, which leads our story, brought this remark from runner-up Des Ward, "I get a great deal of enjoyment from both Sport and Photography, and especially when I can combine the two. This image was taken at Cheltenham Racecourse when the horses were too far away to get a decent image, but I was definitely in amongst a different kind of action. Nobody was paying much attention to me, so I was able to capture real life without anyone feeling self-conscious at having a camera pointed at them. The problem with these kinds of pictures is isolating the subjects both from their neighbours and also the background – some post production has definitely helped here. I wouldn’t have taken this picture, and couldn’t have post processed it, before I joined Cheltenham Camera Club 12 years ago; being a member and participant has certainly opened my eyes to innumerable photographic opportunities. Come along and see for yourself!"
Highly commended prizes were awarded to two image makers in Bryan Wetton and Kathryn Knight. Brian's Mist Landscape from Long Down, Dursley is typical of our Gloucestershire landscape. Says retired Science teacher Brian, "I am serving President of Tyndale Photography Club and very much an opportunist photographer with very limited photographic gear (a Nikon D5500 SLR with an 18-200mm zoom lens) but I always make a point of taking my camera whenever I go out walking in the beautiful countryside around Dursley and Cam.
Conditions were initially very unpromising on the January day I took this picture, with thick mist rolling in from the Severn, that is until I got above it!"
Kathryn's image will prompt racing folk to scrathc theoir heads. This wonderfully cheeky image sees a one time jockey, now saddler casting his eyes on a different type of bloodstock in The Fox on Broadwell.
"We frequent the Fox Inn, the local pub in Broadwell, as it is in easy hike from our cottage. As I enjoyed a half pint with my lunch I looked up and saw this Composition and quickly put my finger on the shutter. I was immensely delighted with the outcome as I see myself as a ‘visual storyteller’. On a later visit I learned that the gentleman was a renowned jockey, and sadly his dog and ‘best friend’ is now deceased.
I am currently working on a project that documents the Cotswolds. I get great pleasure being a member of the North Cotswold U3A photographic Club."
Thanks to all our snappers for participating. If you'd like to take part in 2020, then please get in touch.
STOP PRESS: Racing abandoned due to Virus concerns
6m SE Cheltenham, nr junction of A40 and A436 (Exit 11A, M5)