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Posts Tagged ‘animals’

Blessing of the Hounds

 

 

 

 

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Click on any image to see it in a LARGER size.

For Thanksgiving, we visited with family in the Charlottesville, Virginia area. One of the high points of the weekend is attending “The Blessing of the Hounds” on Thanksgiving morning.  This service has taken place every Thanksgiving for 86 years at Grace Episcopal Church in Keswick, Virginia.

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The church dates back to 1745. Thomas Jefferson was a parishioner and vestry member. The church is nestled in the heart of horse country.  Members of the Keswick Hunt Club come riding onto the church grounds at 9:30am. The dogs are American Foxhounds and have been bred over hundreds of years for local conditions – they are quite distinct from British Foxhounds. Of Course!

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There is a short service that begins with two of the best hymns going – “We Gather Together” and “Come Ye Thankful People.” These same hymns have been sung for 86 years.  Everyone feels connected to the history of this extraordinary church and this extraordinary country.

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The Rev. G. Miles Smith, rector of the church, leads the service.  There were several hundred in attendance on a chilly morning. The church served warm apple cider to us, which tasted wonderful!

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Here, a grandma takes a family picture before the service started. How hip is she, wielding her iPhone?

 

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I’ve been reading a terrific new book on photography, Jay Maisel’s “Light, Gesture and Color.” For Maisel, gesture is perceived in a very broad sense. I was drawn to much of the gesture in this scene – each of the rider’s hands, the turn of his head and expression on his face and even the horse’s face.

 

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The service is about blessing the riders, the horses, the hounds and even the fox. (Apparently the fox is spared these days.)

 

The blessing at the end of the service reads as follows:

“Bless, O Lord, these riders, horses and hounds and in their running shield them from danger.

Bless those over whose lands the hunt proceeds.

Bless the foxes who partake in the chase, that they may be elusive and fleet of foot.

And may all who participate today in the sport, ancient from time beyond reckoning, return refreshed and renewed in body, mind and spirit. Amen”

 

At the end of the service, the riders took off on the hunt. Many people drove to the adjacent farms and watched the action.

 

What a great way to begin our truly American holiday of Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

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Dogs, Cats and Those who Care for Them

Eye to Eye

Recently, I spent two days in lower Manhattan taking pictures at four veterinarian hospitals that comprise DVM Hospitals.

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My assignment was to take pictures for their website – actually four websites, one for each of the facilities. We took headshots of the veterinarians and staff, pictures of the animals being treated and anything else of interest that came into view.

These were two very full days of terrific fun. Everyone I photographed – both two-legged and four-legged subjects – were easy to be with, enthusiastic and full of life.

The staff members of DVM Hospitals are amazing. To say they like animals is a serious understatement. They live and breathe animals. Most of them have pets themselves. I watched everything from toenail-clipping to major surgery and was impressed with the care, concern and love that was showered on the pets.

Things happened pretty fast. When I shoot in the studio, I can take the time to try different expressions, poses, etc. I didn’t have that luxury here and had to react pretty quickly. A couple of times, I asked a dog to repeat what he just did a few seconds ago – but usually got a blank stare back. The humans were much more cooperative.

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Some of these images are already on their website. If you live in the city and need a vet for your pet, DVM Hospitals is the place to go!

“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woman’s Best Friend – Part Two

I seem to be shooting women and their dogs these days – and having a ball doing it! The first one was Woman’s Best Friend. Today is Part Two. Pictured above is Crockett, named for the street she lives on, and below is Crockett with Stuart.

I’d love to photograph you with your dog!

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

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