How it began

I am busy building a website for Thordale Shetland Stud over the next few days as ours looks tired and old.  So this blog post is a total cheat as I randomly chose a disk of stored photos to write something about.

I think I first bought my big Canon camera with the fabulous lens in Dec 2007.  I remember shaking as I opened up the professional looking boxes with their smart instructions that assumed you knew what you were doing and not just an “all-the-gear-and-no-idea” kind of person (err, that would be me, then).

I was shaking with excitement, anticipation and fright at the large amount of cash this had cost.    In my head, I was busy blaming the whole idea on Tim Flach, an incredible photographer who had come to stay with us to research and take photos for his book, Equus, in November 2007.

While I cooked supper in the evening, Tim would sit at the kitchen table and chat to me.  He kindly looked at my rather pathetic array of photos and was extremely encouraging.  He then examined my dear little camera that had done a perfectly good job up until then, shook his head and said I had “the eye” but the equipment was letting me down.

The next day, we went into the hill, put the Shetland ponies in a field for the photoshoot and Tim handed me one of his big professional-looking cameras saying “you go one direction, press this button and when the card is full come back”.  So I did.  It was easy.

We compared pictures that evening and Tim said “There, I told you.  Now buy a good camera!”  I asked him to write down everything that I needed, which he duly did.  He left to go back to London.  I still had my pictures and the list which I looked at and looked at.
(you can see his Shetland pony photo here)

Tim would phone me occasionally in the next few weeks to ask whether I had bought the camera and I whined on about the expense, no necessity and continued to procrastinate.  He remained undeterred and said I needed to buy this kit.

So, I costed it up on Amazon, felt sick, took a deep breath and bought the lot locally from The Camera Centre, Lerwick – my theory being that if it went wrong while under warranty, it was much easier to just go back and hand it in rather than post it somewhere to an unknown address in the US.

These are some of my pictures from Tim Flach’s photoshoot.  You can see why I had to go and buy the camera!  

I have never looked back.

Shet four-005028-2 Shet four-005059-1 Shet four-005076 Shet four-005153 Shet four-005165-1 Shet four-005274 Shet four-005330 Shet four-005367 Shet four-005383 Shet four-005388 Shet four-005397  Shet four-005392 Shet four-005285


9 thoughts on “How it began

  1. Cate

    You have a wonderful eye indeed. Your photos are a real treat—-thank you so much for sharing them. What I particularly love about this set is how—can’t put this any other way—how prehistoric the ponies look, how ancient and wildish, almost mythical. You capture that uniqueness perfectly. Breathtaking shots.

  2. Melissa

    Sometimes it IS good to heed advice. Brilliant photography. I agree with Cate’s comment. Plus, I believe you capture something of the bond with those ponies have with you. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Maggie

    You photos are one of the reasons I check your blog every day (and the stories….and the ponies).

    I’m in the market for a new camera myself. My Kodak is about 6 years old, only 8 MP, and has a horribly long processing time when you take a snap. I would love another with manual options and all the bells and whistles. (I also really miss using my old Canon FTb, but it’s such a pain to get film developed any more.)

    Can you share the list of things Tim said were ‘must haves’ for a professional camera?

    1. Frances Post author

      Original camera list:

      1 x Canon EOS 1D Mark III Body Only
      1 x Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8 L IS USM
      1 x Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8
      1 x Canon EF 180mm F3.5L Macro USM
      1 x Hoya Pro 1 Digital 77mm Filter
      1 x Sandisk Extreme IV 4GB CompactFlash card
      1 x Remote Control switch for EOS 1D Mark III
      1 x Canon LP-E4 Lithium Battery for EOS 1D Mark III

  4. Linda

    That was a great piece of advice and I’m glad you took it! Then you helped me to be bold enough to buy a better camera too! I think I see Charlot in some of these photos! Would you have time to blog about the best of Charlot photos – hope that he is happy somewhere not too far from you. His was a great inspiring story – you worked so hard with him! Thanks for all your beautiful photos and posts. Hope your healing comes quickly.


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