EACH YEAR AS WINTER TURNS TO SPRING MELBOURNE COMES ALIVE AS AUSTRALIA’S MOST ICONIC EVENT – THE SPRING RACING CARNIVAL – CASTS ITS SPELL. WE ASKED THESE NIKON PRESS PHOTOGRAPHERS TO SHARE THEIR PERSPECTIVE OF THIS YEAR’S EVENT.
Racing Victoria Chief Executive describes the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival as “an event like no other” and for good reason.
But while Caulfield Cup, William Hill Cox Plate and the $6.2 million Emirates Melbourne Cup are the high-profile feature events, the carnival itself has grown into one of the world’s greatest sporting and social events, attracting more than 630,000 people annually who turn out to witness the best horses, trainers, jockeys and owners across the world compete for more than $66 million in prize money.
To a select group of talented photographers lucky enough to witness the action first hand it is not always the horses that prove the most compelling.
VINCE CALIGIURI – FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER – GETTY IMAGES
Sunrise during trackwork. Image by Vince Caligiuri shot on D3s.
While plenty of people in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane might disagree, Melbourne is often touted as the sporting capital of the world. A tagline that suits Vince Caligiuri just fine. In a career spanning more than 20 years, Vince has enjoyed a front row seat to some of the most extraordinary feats of human endeavour ever witnessed. Yet it is in horseracing where his heart lies. Vince says this of his favourite image from the 2016 Spring Racing Carnival.
“As a freelance photographer working for Getty Images in Melbourne one of my passions is horseracing and the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
“I start to cover track work early September until the end of cup week and my brief on this particular morning was to photograph early morning gallops at Flemington Racecourse to mark the start of The Melbourne Cup carnival.
“The previous few weeks that I had been covering the early mornings the weather had been cold and not spring like weather, so it was great relief to get a beautiful sunrise picture with horses in the frame to kick of the start of cup week.”
To view more of Vince’s work, follow him on Instagram @Vinnycenzo_IG or Twitter @Vinnycenzo_71.
EDWARDS – HERALD SUN PHOTOGRAPHER, NEWS LIMITED
Image by Jason Edwards / News Ltd shot on Nikon D5.
Jason Edwards is no stranger to a bit of drama. A photojournalist and documentary photographer for The Herald Sun, the award-winning snapper has found himself in some hairy spots during an extensive career which saw him capture the moment the Western Bulldogs won the 2016 AFL Premiership as well as front and centre during the Black Saturday and Grampian fires. But it seems none of these experiences prepared him for working with high profile model Nicole Trunfio and her horsey companion, Darby Day runner So Si Bon. This is what Jason has to say about the resulting image.
“With an international supermodel and a beautiful thoroughbred horse running in the 2016 Derby the next day, this image was always destined for page one but only if the horse co-operated!
“The recipe was simple, find a clean angle, set the lights and exposure, get the model in position then hope the 500kg running machine will stand long enough and in the right position. After 120 seconds the trainer said the horse had had enough, which was fine by me – I knew I had tomorrow’s front page.”
TRACEY NEARMY – AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS, AAP.
Image by Tracey Nearmy / AAP shot on KeyMission360.
In her life behind the lens, Tracey Nearmy has encountered her fair share of attention seekers. Having worked for numerous publications throughout Australia, her eye-catching portrait work has seen her receive national attention – not unlike the subject behind her favourite image from this year’s Spring Racing Carnival. This is what she has to say about it.
“Vibrancy and colour is what I hope to capture covering this event. Everywhere you look there is something to see, it’s an amazing space full of people proffering ‘look at me’ and I’m there to watch. The brief as a photographer at Australian Associated Press is that there is no brief or more so that everything is your brief and our coverage is based on the newsworthiness of the image.
Throughout The Spring Racing Carnival I am covering a little bit of most things, bouncing from the colour of the birdcage and the action on the rack to the weary end of the day where worse for wear punters stagger home.
“This year I shot on my two Nikon D4s bodies with a 24-70mm, 70-200mm, 200-500mm and 400mm. Also I was lucky enough to test out the new Nikon KeyMission 360 camera which was lots of fun to shoot with.
EDDIE JIM – FAIRFAX MEDIA
Image by Eddie Jim / Fairfax Media shot Nikon D5.
Eddie Jim is an award winning Fairfax photographer who has an incredible ability to capture optimism and humanity in his photos. A trait that comes in very handy when seeking to capture the true spirit of The Spring Racing Carnival. This is what Eddie had to say about his favourite image.
“My brief for the cup was to shoot celebrities, colour, the cup finish, the winning horse and jockey with the crowd in the background as well as the cup presentation, horse owners and trainer. I took this image of race-goer Rhiannon Ludlow shot with a Nikon D5. I love the colour and the grand stand reflection on her sunnies.”
JOHN DONEGAN – HEAD OF PHOTOGRAPHY / RACING PHOTOS
Almandine (GER) ridden by Kerrin McEvoy wins the Emirates Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse on November 01, 2016 in Flemington, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos). Shot on Nikon D4s.
As the official Race day Photographers across Victoria, the Racing Photos team of 7 photographers captured nearly 10,000 images on Emirates Melbourne Cup Day.
The team of four editors had the first images of the thrilling finish online within five minutes of the race finishing.
Of this year’s Spring Racing Carnival Flemington event, John Donegan of Racing Photos says: “While the action is paramount in such an amazing two-horse race to the line, the emotion of the winning and losing jockeys made the best pictures of the day.”
JAKE NOWAKOWSKI – HERALD SUN PHOTOGRAPHER, NEWS LIMITED
Kerrin McEvoy celebrates his 2016 Melbourne Cup win as he rides Almandine back to the mounting yard.
Photography Jake Nowakowski / News Ltd shot on Nikon D4S.
As a vastly experienced news photographer Jake Nowakowski has learnt to rely on his instinct. His knack for being ‘Johnny on the spot’ saw him capture Saddam’s Iraq both before and after the fall and he was the only press photographer present when a group of disaffected youths rioted in Melbourne’s Federation Square earlier this year. While considerably less dangerous than some of the situations he has found himself in, the pace of the 2016 Spring Carnival meant it was no place to let down his guard.
“After being assigned to cover general colour as well as the main race and the winner’s return to scale I captured this image of Kerrin McEvoy celebrating his Melbourne Cup win on his return to scale.”
To see more of Jake’s work follow him on Twitter @skubesnaps.
QUINN ROONEY – GETTY IMAGES
Quinn Rooney setting up remote cameras. Image by Vince Caligiuri shot on Nikon D500.
Having shot sports for Getty Images for a decade, Quinn Rooney is no stranger to Group 1 horseracing. He spent this year’s Spring Racing Carnival at Flemington as part of a large team looking after the editorial race coverage. For every race, the Getty team covered everything from finish line pictures, under the rail remote cameras and horses returning to scale, to celebrities, the crowd, cup atmosphere and all the celebrations. Of this year’s event he says: “We are always looking for different angles to show case the event. This image was from a remote camera which was mounted on the finishing post early in the morning. We are unable to access the camera until the end of the day, so the camera was set up on shutter priority.”
Remote cameras capture action during Melbourne Cup race. Image by Quinn Rooney / Getty Images shot on D5.
See below Quinns remote cameras operating.