BRISTOL 69 – WAR HORSE

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War Horse, outside The Hippodrome theatre, in central Bristol; 8 Apr 2014.

This is an imitation horse, which is being used in the stage version of the film War Horse.  It was being paraded before the press (all two or three of them) and a crowd, as I ambled past Bristol’s Hippodrome theatre.

Points against my posting these images are that I’m certainly not a theatre-goer, and that the G11 was completely the wrong camera for the job – events were quite fast-moving, the crowd and the horse were milling around excitedly, and I’d far rather have used the D700 with a 24-120 lens.  But, the G11 was all I had and so, following one of photography’s cardinal rules, I went for it!

The reason why I am posting these pictures is that this imitation equine was exceedingly well done and lifelike – it really impressed me! –  and I’d like to show it to you.  What I can’t show you however, are its very true to life movements, and the associated sound effects – its neighing, which emanated from recordings housed within the beast, and the totally real clacking and crashing of its metal shoes on the pavement.

The crowd was simply entranced and enthralled, and it was almost (but not quite!) enough to get me to rush into the ticket office to book myself a  seat –  in the Dress Circle … of course …

As you can see, there are two men working this creation from the inside.  And the third man, the one holding its bridle here, is also holding a black pole with numerous controls, that are instrumental in moving the head. 

Impressive, that’s what it was, simply impressive.

Canon G11 PowerShot at 28mm (middle photo) and 140mm; 400 ISO.
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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

14 Responses to BRISTOL 69 – WAR HORSE

  1. LensScaper says:

    Well shot, Adrian. I’ve seen the stage show. I have to admit I went rather reluctantly to see it, but I was amazed by these horses. Their nuanced movements and noises were astonishingly real and superbly observed to be ‘created’ by the puppeteers.

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Haha! >>> I’d be reluctant too! – but as you say, these “horses” are something else – and, yes, the skill of their operators – wow, that really is awesome (in the old sense of the word!). A

      Like

  2. Horses!!! YAY! Even fake ones!
    xxx

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  3. krikitarts says:

    I have been seeing previews of the production on tv here and am very impressed as well, and hope to be able to see a full stage production soon!

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  4. I love the work that the National Theatre has done in developing shows with this extraordinary puppetry! I saw Philip Pulman’s “His Dark Materials” there some years back and was blown away. Then last year we saw Tori Amos’ “The Light Princess”. Beautiful artistry! Desperately want to see Warhorse. Great pictures 🙂

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    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thank you, Sarah! Both you and Susan (below here) have mentioned puppetry – I hadn’t viewed this horse in that light but, of course, that’s what it is – thank you both for the insight! Adrian

      Like

  5. I saw War Horse.. The puppeteers and the horses were exceptional.

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  6. bananabatman says:

    In this case Adrian, the G11 was the right camera,. otherwise you wouldn’t have been able to share this beast with us. Well worth photographing. Dave.

    Like

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