First, I've renovated my Instagram account. It had been lying fallow for many years but I've renamed it, dusted it off and will be sharing daily equine images there. Follow me: @larajoyphoto.
Now, on to the good stuff... I'm a little sad to say that this is my last #tempeltour2016 post but I really need to hop to it and process my many images from Morocco. There are so many images from Morocco that it's become a daunting task. I keep tackling smaller collections of images like the ones from my day at Tempel instead of making the Herculean effort to finish culling, then processing and sharing my Morocco images.
I hereby solemnly promise that later this week, I will write about my first day in Marrakech in April 2016.
The Tempel Lipizzans' first performance is right around the corner and at #tempeltour2016, we were treated to a training session with the trainers in full dress uniform. The bicorne hats, gold braid trim and blue tailed jackets are a throwback to more revolutionary days when the Lipizzan horses were used in battle. It's very special to photograph the trainers in their dress uniform and imagine back to when these balletic movements were actually offensive and defensive maneuvers in the art of war.
During the training session, I spent a fair bit of time capturing Eliza Arzidonne and Ted Goad training stallion Conversano Mima Barbara "in hand" (rather than in the saddle). As I watched, I was so impressed with their connection to the stallion and their almost imperceptible movements to guide him.
I also experimented with slow shutter speeds during the training session. I've found that dragging my shutter speed can be a great way to emphasize dressage movements. On its own, one image captures such a small piece of the intricate footwork involved in high-level dressage that it often fails to tell the whole story. By using a slow shutter speed (this image: 200mm, 1/30th, F11, ISO 160), I captured a bit of that floaty, rocking movement and the elevation I find so enthralling when I watch a dressage performance.
At the end of the session, two of the trainers and two of the working students treated us to a mini quadrille and I captured this lovely moment as they finished navigating a turn.
I hope you feel inspired to go to see a performance at Tempel this summer. I know I do - plus a trip to the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and the stud farm in Lipica, and well, you know. Anywhere there are Lipizzans.