BRITAIN Richmond 28/04/2016 OPS: From the polishing of the harness to the first run out of the new Brake in RichmondPark ©Picture by Paul Stewart 2016
Tanya and Katie, busy polishing the dress harness for the first run out of the new Brake in RichmondPark ©Picture by Paul Stewart 2016

Thursday and Friday found me and Viv back in Richmond Park, working on the Shire Horses project.  First on Thursday I photographed Roy and Aragon, ably assisted by Ed and Tom, mowing the verges in the park.  Also I recorded just a bit of what Tanya and Katie did to prepare the dress harness for the next day.  Friday the forecast wasn’t good, but I woke to clear skies so we headed off to the stables at Holly Lodge to meet the crew.  The idea was to get some images of the “New” Park Brake, this is an open four wheeled, eight seater carriage, which Operation Centaur @OpCentaur hope to hire out for rides in the park to raise money for the charity and also to get some more images for my project on the last herd of working shires in London.  I have to say that it was a fabulous trip, Viv and I used be to part of the team of three that ran JeepClub UK and we like sensible off roading and exploration. To all my 4×4 driving friends, until you have been on an unsurfaced road, pulled by two of the most magnificent horses on the planet, you’ve not lived.  Even the 5 minutes of hail in the middle of the park, could not dampen the sheer joy of it all.  We stopped after that to take the image of the shires with White Lodge, now the home of the Royal Ballet School, in the background.

BRITAIN Richmond 29/04/2016 OPS: From the polishing of the harness to the first run out of the new Brake in RichmondPark ©Picture by Paul Stewart 2016
The Royal Parks Shire Horses (LR) Roy(al) and Aragon with Tanya, Ed and Tom Take the new eight seat Brake for it’s first run in Richmond Park.  They are pictured here running cross country from White Lodge to Holly Lodge.  ©Picture by Paul Stewart 2016

Now a bit about the new kit…

A few words on the Fuji X-Pro 2, For some time I’ve been looking for smaller, lighter kit, that had the same optical and image quality as my Nikon D3s cameras.  The latest Nikons are still really heavy and so for me not an option.  What I wanted was a system like my old film Leicas in terms of handling and image quality, but at a price I could justify.  I looked at products from Olympus, Nikon, Sony and FujiFilm and canvased the views of a number of my Fleet Street photographer mates.  At the end of the day it came down to the question, “Which FujiFilm Camera will I get?” At the end of the day, it was the FujiFilm X-Pro2 that won out, with both Viv and myself trading in the our Nikons for the X system.  My standard kit is now two bodies, two of the “Red Flag” series pro zooms a 16-55mm 2.8 and a 50-140mm 2.8 long zoom with it’s matched 1.4x teleconverter.  I’m now waiting on the 14mm and 35mm prime lenses to complete my kit. The image quality from the 24MP señor is astonishing and the retro styling makes it really easy to use.  I will put up a full review of it when I’ve used it more, but the first two days, have been a blast.


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