Thursday, September 10, 2015

How I Got the Shot: 5 Questions for Bill Gore, Endurance Photographer - Full Article


If you’re a fan of endurance riding, then chances are you’ve seen this breathtaking photo of the 2015 Tevis Cup winner, 72-year-old Potato Richardson (who has won the Auburn, California event three times) and his Arabian mare, SMR Filouette. But the story behind how the photo was captured is equally fascinating.

Photographer Bill Gore has been shooting endurance rides for 18 years, and took over the photography for the Tevis Cup’s famous, Cougar Rock outcropping back in 2011. What’s it really like to photograph one of endurance riding’s most challenging hazards? We caught up with Gore to find out.

1. How did you get started in endurance photography?

The first endurance ride I shot was in 1997. Up until that point I had never heard of the Tevis Cup, even though I had grown up within 30 miles of Auburn. After hearing about this famous 100-Mile One Day Ride, I was intrigued with the idea of taking photographs of my friend [who was competing]. I contacted the Western States Trails Foundation and asked, particularly about Cougar Rock, as I had heard that it was the iconic “shot” from the ride.

I was put in touch with Charlie Barieau, who had been shooting Tevis since the beginning, and I explained my interest in shooting during the ride. Charlie offered to show me where some of the [prime photography] locations were, and we loaded up into my 4×4 pickup and away we went. I had the pleasure and honor to bounce around the mountains for about nine hours that day with Charlie. I didn’t realize the treasure of information that he shared with me. It wasn’t until years later that I realized what an intricate role in early endurance that Charlie had—plus, he truly was a “class act”. A few years later, I learned Charlie was living at an assisted living facility, so I contacted him again to see if he wanted to go with me to look for a spot for me to shoot at that year’s Tevis Cup. I already knew where I was going to shoot, but I couldn’t help myself with the opportunity to bounce around the mountain and hear all of Charlie’s stories...

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