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Lambing in Derbyshire by Eileen Langsley

1 February 2021

Although I have stuck fairly rigidly to only shooting sport for the last 40 years or so I have developed a keen interest in farm photography due to local friends and contacts who own and run Derbyshire farms. It has been a real privilege to be welcomed (and trusted) throughout the year and I have published a souvenir book for them and provide calendar pictures for them each year end.

Last year I was pretty desperate for some snow scenes but we’d had just light falls and I could only find one field with any snow drifts that could work with sheep in the image as well as a Derbyshire landscape background and weather fronts looking ominous. I was about to set off heaving the gear across the field and wondering how I could avoid disturbing the sheep and having them rush off away from me when the farmer handed me the keys to the Kubota and whistled up his sheepdog Poppy; he then opened the gate and left me to get on with it. Well, it was the best fun I’ve had in years and the brilliant Poppy knew just what I wanted from her. What a great team we made (I could really have used her at a few medal ceremony crushes I’ve worked in!) and the sheep obligingly moved to the largest snow patch. I didn’t really want any kind of posed image and was happy to shoot them while moving. Before long the heavens opened and Poppy (no doubt perplexed as to what that had all been about) and I headed back.

My work on the farms has strengthened enormously the huge respect I have for the farming community, how hard they work, how much they care about the welfare of their animals and the constant problems they face. I can’t wait for the next photo session with them.

Eileen Langsley (Supersport Photographs) has been a sports photographer since 1976. For 20 years she was the official photographer to the International Gymnastics federation and was a founder member and official photographer to the Women’s Sports Foundation (UK). She has covered 13 Winter and Summer Olympic Games and more national European and World Championships in a variety of sports, than she cares to remember. To date she has published 23 books, (mostly sports books) and has ‘focussed’ at length on the relationship between Sport and Art.

See more work by Eileen Langsley

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