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Behind the Shot: Edwina Tops

Behind the Shot - Edwina Tops
Behind the Shot - Edwina Tops
Behind the Shot – Edwina Tops

One of Australia’s top equestrian photographers, MICHELLE TERLATO travels the world capturing equestrian athletes in action. Each month she shares one of her favorite shots. 

Rider: Edwina Tops Alexander (Aus) 

Horse: Casquell 

Event: 2019 Longines Global Champions Tour  

Location: Stadio dei Marmi, Rome, Italy 

Camera & Settings: Canon 7D Mk II 70-200mm Lens ISO 400 f 2.8 1/1000 sec 


This photo of Edwina and Casquell, coming right at me down the barrel of the lens, actually eventuated because I was trying to capture some images of the show jumpers competing with the Olympic Stadium in the background. The sun was low in the sky and to one side, and unfortunately, I could not access the perfect spot with the sun behind me because to do so meant I would have had to go into a restricted VIP area. The next best option was straight on. Sometimes this works really well, especially if the horse is jumping an oxer which in this case he was. I do have some shadow in the image, which is not always ideal, but it does not detract in this image. While I was trying to capture the stadium I also captured one of the beautiful stone sculptures in the background, which in the end looked far more impressive than the stadium! When editing it afterwards I found I preferred the image in black and white as it highlights the marble statue more than when it’s in colour.  

Why this shot is special:  

In this photo, I feel as if Edwina is looking straight at me. Her focus and direction are captured right between Casquell’s ears. At the time, the pair were competing for the St Tropez Pirates in the LGCT League. The shot is also special to me because I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Edwina who was very generous with her time. I have much admiration for her, her talent, and her love of the sport. It was also one of the most wonderful events, which I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed attending. Held in Rome in the spectacular Stadio dei Marmi, one of four stadiums in the colossal sports complex, dei Marmi is encircled with 60 four meter tall classical statues of athletes, all made from beautiful Carrara marble. I feel this image captures some of the sheer beauty and opulence of the stadium, as well as of the prestige of the competition. 

Michelle is available for event, commercial, and private shoots. Visit Michelle Terlato Photography to view her impressive portfolio.