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Trick shots lead to awards treat for top photographer
5:00pm Friday 1st November 2013 in News
THEY are among the familiar four-legged sights that help make Oxford’s Port Meadow such a beloved spot for city walkers.
Now a top photographer has been honoured for these striking images of dogs at the west Oxford meadow.
Rory Carnegie, 51, said he was moved to create the composite pictures after the death of his “beloved, irascible” lurcher Luca in 2010. The seven-year-old is thought to have died after eating poison while on a walk.
He said: “I wanted some sort of photographic record of Luca.
“I photographed Luca in the studio but where I remember him the most was on Port Meadow, and I didn’t have any satisfactory images.”
Luca is among the dogs featured in the series, who Mr Carnegie found by chatting with owners while walking 11-month-old Luna, a retriever, setter and lurcher mix.
The North Oxford resident, who is a professional photographer, was named best in category in the portrait series at the 2013 Association of Photographers Awards last month.
He said: “They have more depth than a lot of traditional photographs because they are layered. You can see one layer and you look beyond that; it is like multiple exposure.”
Mr Carnegie – whose portrait work has appeared in publications like The Sunday Times and GQ – used a high resolution Hasselblad camera to capture the painting-style shots.
Each is a massive 100MB of computer data and the meadow images were later mixed with those of about 20 dogs shot in his studio. This was essential so bright artificial light could be used for the dogs, avoiding the need for a flash, which could frighten them, he said.
Mr Carnegie, who lives in Longworth Road and is married with three children, said: “You get to know all the dogs, you get to see their characters and how they behave.
“The detail within the photographs is extraordinary.”
He said he loved the “wild” nature of the ancient grazing ground that “changes all the time”, and each dog has “some sort of relationship with Port Meadow”.
He is unsurprisingly no fan of the controversial Castle Mill student flat development on the edge of Port Meadow.
Campaigners last month lost a High Court bid to stop students moving into the development until conditions such as an environmental impact assessment were met.
While he emphasised his pictures were “not political”, Mr Carnegie said of the flats: “It is horrible, they are incredibly ugly. I am staggered by the quality of design.
“They have every right to build there but something that is lower and not so invasive.”
Karen David’s greyhounds Cleo and Luke were among those who sat for the “breathtaking” images.
The Woodstock Road, North Oxford public relations consultant said: “He has brought out so many qualities that makes them look even more beautiful than they are in real life.”
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