Photography always gives me an opportunity to learn. In March I went to see the sheepdog trials in Zamora at Slaven Ranch. First, I was impressed by a whole bunch of border collies and handlers/owners waiting their turn for a run up the hill.
Over the hill were four sheep waiting to be herded down the hill, through two obstacles on the course and finally into the ring set off by traffic cones. The handler stands on the flat land more or less between the obstacles and ring. I’m hoping you can get somewhat of a picture in your mind. My description is not very good.
As far as photography goes, it was difficult because you had to use a telephoto lens (we were quite a distance away) which made it difficult to get the dogs and sheep into one frame when they came close enough to photograph. I had my lens at 200mm and managed to get a few pictures when they came down the hill.
The handlers communicate with their dogs by using a special whistle that we couldn’t hear. And, all this had to be done in a certain time limit. Here are some pictures.
Coming down the hills.
Now for the dogs while herding.
One of the handlers working with a dog.
Now for a fun picture. I took a picture of a dog sitting next to me. When processing it, I cropped in close to the eye and found a reflection. Take a look!
It was an amazing few hours watching these border collies and handlers at work. I do appreciate the Yolo Arts and Ag Project and the opportunities it offers us.
Oh, I want to thank those of you who gave me input on my decision on whether to buy a Fujifilm macro lens or keep my current Nikon macro lens. I’ve decided to keep using my Nikon system. The reality is that I do long range wildlife photography just a few times a year. I enjoy it, but enjoy other types of photography more.