Tractor Rally – With Snow!

Canon 1DX, 24-70 F2.8
Canon 1DX, 70-200 F2.8

Well the annual tractor rally at Apley Farm Shop came around again last weekend. Organised by the Bridgnorth Vintage Machinery Club, it’s our favourite early photography event! It usually has upwards of 100 tractors entering, which is a really great thing to witness – all the engine noise and old machines are fascinating and you could have imagined them working the Shropshire fields – in fact some still do. Last year we had sunshine, blue skies and it was almost tee shirt weather. This year we had an unexpected snow day and the temperature when I finally arrived at Apley Farm Shop (at 8am) was down to -1c. I forgot my wellies as well, so the first thing I did after getting out the car was to step in a snow covered muddy puddle 🙂

This year apart from stills, I shot video as well. Now this isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. Having to jump from camera to camcorder and back is actually a bit of a challenge – video is very different to still photography. You have to reframe everything, shutter speeds work differently and the focusing is back to good old manual mode! And my hands were really bloody cold as well which didn’t help. Still, as a non multitasking capable man I did actually manage ok. There were less tractors this year (something I’m partly grateful for because my hands got in front of the car heater quicker) but this is for a good cause with all donations going to help the Shropshire Air Ambulance, a vital service considering how rural a lot of Shropshire is – and inaccessible when weather like this closes in.

Andrea, who’s accompanied me on this shoot for the past two years, very wisely stayed in bed this time.