with Horse and Hound

When Photographer, Horse, and Camera Go Head Over Tail

gretchen pelham.jenbnifer calderwoodFoxhunting photographer Gretchen Pelham / Jennnifer Calderwood photo

Gretchen Pelham’s photos have been published in numerous magazines, in Foxhunting Life, and in our annual Foxhunting Life Calendar. After telling her I was impressed that she could juggle reins, hunt whip, and camera, she said that when she rides her own horse, she uses double reins! But, she said, the whip is useful. When taking pictures, she puts it under her leg, horn up, and hooks the reins over it. That way, she can use both hands on the camera! [Ed.]

I don’t have a picture of my whopper of a cropper in the hunt field, mainly because I was the one taking the pictures. I always hunt with my Canon 20D equipped with a 300mm zoom lens shoved down the front of my hunt coat. When I see a moment worthy of a shot I put the reins in one hand, drag the camera out, and start shooting.

 Sometimes I have plenty of time to shove the camera back down my coat before my Field Master takes off, but mostly I’ve learned to shove it down with one hand while breaking into a gallop. The coat really holds the big camera steady, and I can jump anything without fear of the camera coming out and clocking me on the chin.

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