2013 Year in Review : Chincoteague, Va.

rob paine chincoteague poniesBefore the new year starts, I thought it would be fun to look back on the most viewed and most “liked” posts on this blog.

For some of these Year in Review stories, I may add other photos or additional notes that have similar subject matter but did not run in the particular post the first time out.

I will also provide a link to the original version.

For those of you who missed these posts the first time out, I hope you will enjoy them. For those long timers I hope you will enjoy taking a second look. (please see more photos and text below)

I will also be running new posts as warranted so please keep an eye on the ISBAA dailies.

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has made this blog a success.

This post originally ran July 20, 2013 Please click Chincoteague Ponies to see this post in its original form.

On Monday the events leading up to the annual Chincoteague Pony Swim kick into high gear, culminating Wednesday, July 24, with the pony swim to be followed by the Auction of the Foals held on Thursday.

During our visit to Chincoteague this past February, we were able to get much more up close and personal to the famous ponies than usual thanks to Super Storm Sandy.

web pony grazes

Apparently to keep the ponies safe, officials opened up gates that kept the ponies in their assigned areas giving the ponies free reign at the refuge so they could avoid flooding and other dangers resulting from the violent storm. For the most part, this was still the case in February.

I shot this portrait shortly after sunrise. A photo seminar (which I was not a part of) was being held in the refuge with a couple of dozen photographers. The instructor leading it
spoke to the group using a megaphone. Myself and another photographer got to this group of ponies before the class did. But when the teacher and students pulled up the horses continued to graze along the main road that goes thru the refuge and ends at the beach. The ponies were very busy eating and rarely looked up except whenever the megaphone beeped and they would glance in my direction, which lead to this particular shot. (above)

The ponies started to walk in the road and at one point, were surrounded by some many of the student photographers it became challenging to get photos without people in them.

web crowd

Helpful tip on photographing the wild ponies- do not try to stand too close to these animals- especially if you are behind them.You always need to be aware of your surroundings when photographing animals. A volunteer naturalist at the refuge showed us a collection of 4×6 photos posted on a door at one of the refuge visitor centers. What did all of these photos (there were at least 3-4 dozen) have an in common? They all were taken of park visitors who had just been kicked in the face by a pony. Believe me, those were not pretty pictures. I am all about getting close to your subject, but you need to be careful.

Early in my newspaper career, I got hit in the head with a horseshoe while photographing a horseshoe tournament. It was quite a shock. I cannot even imagine what that metal shoe would have felt like on my head if it had a horse connected to it!

The shot below was taken from the road with a 500MM lens which got me as close as I needed without disturbing the ponies.

web two poniesHere are some other photos taken during my trip to Chincoteague.

web rob paine sea birds one

Rob Paine Chincoteague
Photo 3
Ducks

web pony rob paine

web birds onbeach

web bird ramp

14 comments

  1. I got a pingback courtesy of WP, but I LOVE YOUR PHOTOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Chincoteague is on my favorite places on earth and I love to talk to fellow shutterbugs there…and well, apparently I can meet a few on the blogosphere as well. I remember when the ponies were allowed to wander around a few years ago…it’s sort of why the Maryland side can be a little more fun at times. Your shots are gorgeous!

    Like

  2. Wow, that first photo …. Just beautiful … and I love the duck with her small, plenty of them too.
    Somebody has said that we don’t take photos … we borrow moments – and that is what you have done here.

    Like

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