MAD HATTER EASTER PARTY

Easter is a great time for children, because really, what is better than chocolate and no school? Well both of them combined, but for the parents, it's a horrendous and long two weeks.

On Easter Monday, Greenacres Riding Centre saved the parents, and gave them all a day to themselves, arranging the Mad Hatter Easter Party, which included many fun activities for all of the children, including; Limbo, Chase Me Charlie on foot, Chase Me Charlie on a horse, Easter Egg Hunt on foot, Easter Egg on a horse, Musical Statues, Obstacle Course and best of all, a cream fight and water fight, which was from 11am until 4pm.

At this event, as I was the only photographer, I tried to cover as much as possible, but due to the fact that there were several different activities on at the one point, I could only focus myself on one part, and so due to this, I focused myself onto the busiest part at each time.

IMAGE ONE - As Andie, the Mad Hatter - and also the riding instructor, gets ready before all of the children start arriving, absolutely clueless that I am standing taking this image. In this image, you can see the concentration in his face as he applies the face-paint. have composed this image in so that Andie is centre within the image and totally in focus, while you can see that I am peaking through the door, with the wall and door being out of focus, and therefore, drawing the viewer in.

ISO 1250 - 150mm - f/5.6 - 1/500 - Nikon D700

IMAGE TWO - As the Queen of Hearts arrives first, while she waits for her friends to arrive, she feeds one of the horses, Storm, from the haynet which is at the side of his stable. From this image, you can see the gentleness between the horse and the little girl, as they're both being kind to each other. I have composed this image in so that the little girls hands which are holding the hay for the horse, and the horses muzzle are centre within the image, while everything else leads out, so the viewer takes in every detail of the image.

ISO 800 - 165mm - f/5.6 - 1/1000 - Nikon D700

IMAGE THREE - As most of the children have arrived, before the chaos started, I decided to get a nice group shot, which included riding instructor, Andie (the mad hatter) and the owner of the riding centre, Cathie (the scarecrow), plus ponies Pocahontas and Ellie. I have composed this image in so that everyone fits in, with the smallest of the children at the front to make sure that none of them were left out, or hiding away at the back.

ISO 800 - 70mm - f/5.6 - 1/1250 - Nikon D700

IMAGE FOUR - As the first 5 children go on their hack with their pony to go and find their easter egg, the rest of the children started the limbo. While there had been an adult and worker who showed them what to do, they just didn't seem to get it, but that added all the more fun, with the pole reaching a low of 50cm, which proved to be difficult for the children to get under, even with them doing it wrong. I have composed this image in so that the little girl who is coming under the pole is the main focus of attention, while everything else that is in the background is cropped out and therefore, not eye-catching.

ISO 800 - 125mm - f/5.6 - 1/1600 - Nikon D700

IMAGE FIVE - Going to the opposite of Image Four, rather than doing the limbo, the children started doing a Chase Me Charlie on foot. A Chase Me Charlie is when the pole starts very low (30cm or such), and as each child gets over it without knocking it, it goes up either 5cm or 10cm, reaching a good height of 90cm. I have composed this image in so that the girl which is in the image is centre within the image, but leaving enough room in the image in so that you can see the height that she is jumping.

ISO 800 - 100mm - f/5.6 - 1/800 - Nikon D700

IMAGE SIX - As all of the children are back from their Easter Egg Hunt horseback, they come back into the riding centre, where they do their Easter Egg Hunt on foot, to try and find as many eggs as possible. As a lot of the children followed each other, some went their own way, and found eggs away from everyone else. I have composed this image in so that the viewer can see how spread out the children are, even over the one area, as they all have their own ideas of where to hunt for their eggs.

ISO 800 - 95mm - f/5.6 - 1/800 - Nikon D700

IMAGE SEVEN - After the Easter Egg Hunt on foot, all children wandered about, happily and proud of all the eggs that they found. In this image, little girl Gracie had been feeling left out, so her and I paired together to go and find some eggs - finding six small eggs in total, plus her one big egg which was found on her Easter Egg Hunt horseback. I have composed this image in so that Gracie is centre within the image, you can see her fancy dress, as she stands with her eggs, leaving the rest of the image blank, and having the background out of focus, showing the environment that the kids are enjoying themselves in.

ISO 800 - 70mm - f/5.6 - 1/800 - Nikon D700

IMAGE EIGHT - Following on from Image Five, rather than Chase Me Charlie on foot, the more experienced riders went on to do Chase Me Charlie horseback, but to make it a bit more fun and exciting, they were riding horses which weren't very experienced, or were naughty. While they were using these ponies, they still got to a decent height of 70cm. I have composed this image in so that I am down low (I was sitting down on the ground), while I am looking up at the jump, which then enhances the look of the height of the jump, and shows how the pony is jumping.

ISO 500 - 80mm - f/5.6 - 1/640 - Nikon D700

IMAGE NINE - Following on from Image Eight, this image shows that indeed the ponies that the more experienced riders were on naughty and inexperienced ponies. After jumping one of the jumps, pony Mr. Pickles, decides that he's going to stop and put his head down and dismount his rider - actually resulting in the girl breaking her wrist. I have composed this image in so that the girl and rider are centre within the image, but in the image you can also see the jump, so due to this, the viewer can see that the pony has misbehaved as soon as it has landed the jump, and has thrown off his rider.

ISO 500 - 80mm - f/5.6 - 1/1250 - Nikon D700

IMAGE TEN - After the Chase Me Charlie horseback, it was time for the complete chaos to start; the cream fight. As all the children picked up their skooshy cream, the fun started as they chased each other, and covered each other in cream, smearing it in to make sure that they made the biggest mess possible, with this image showing what the outcome was like on only one of the nearly 30 people who decided to take part. I have composed this image in so that the girl within the image fills nearly the whole image, meaning that the viewers full attention is on the girl who is covered in cream, meaning the viewer takes in the mess which they ended in.

ISO 500 - 125mm - f/5.6 - 1/1250 - Nikon D700

IMAGE ELEVEN - Once the cream cans were empty, everyone was told to clean themselves up before the parents arrived, and this then resulted in even more fun and chaos in a water-fight, as they soaked each other with the hose, and chucked buckets of water over each other, with this image showing one girl holding another girl, while one more girl chucks a bucket of water over them both. I have composed this image in so that all three girls fit into the frame nicely, with some space at each edge of the image, but nothing within this space which could be considered eye-catching.

ISO 500 - 100mm - f/5.6 - 1/1000 - Nikon D700

My biggest struggle throughout photographing this event, was to make sure that I was managing to capture a minimum of one or two photos of each child doing every activity, but as I was the only photographer who was photographing the event, it proved to be difficult. But at the end of the event, I finished with 1885 photos, with very bare minimum within the contact sheets, which meant that I had a huge range of images to play with, and find finals which I wanted to use for this event.

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