Animals on the street

FEELING SHEEPISH

It doesn't matter where I go or what I am photographing, I only have one aim and that's to capture a flavour of the place or event I'm witnessing. Whether I am photographing pygmies hunting in the Congo or a farmers pre-Christmas Fatstock Show in Rutland, my approach is the same. I'm not bothered about technical perfection, I'm interested in capturing what is happening in front of me in an honest, interesting and often gritty style. This is what appeals to me as a photographer, revealing how I interpret the world around me. 

Uppingham's Fatstock Show is the UK's oldest traditional farmers show, where animals are shown, judged and sold, still operating on its original location, the market square, slap bang in the middle of the town. Once a year this small area, otherwise a car park surrounded by shops, pubs and hairdressers, becomes a farm yard and the sounds and smells of sheep, pigs and cattle dominates. The following images were taken in 2018 and 2019. 

I like to get into the middle of the action, often shooting with a wide-angle lens and that means being right in the thick of it. Of course, you need the co-operation and patience of your subject but I've found the friendliness and fun of the local farmers who run the event heartwarming. I try not to get in the way, looking for interesting angles and viewpoints to shoot the activities as they unfold. 

In 2018 I took the shot below (I call it the 'Pig's Backside)' and it has proved popular with everyone who has seen it because of its comedy value. Quite a few people now have a hand-printed version of it hanging on a wall in their house. Obviously it wasn't set up - that's not my style, I simply reacted to what was happening and was ready when all the little elements fell into place. I hope it makes you smile as much as the moment did for me when I captured it. 

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