Today was ‘Noo Shooz’ day for Dande. Martin Harvey, our farrier, is always very chatty and approachable and tonight he kindly agreed to let me photograph him at work. I’ve watched him – and other farriers – a few times and I always enjoy watching someone who is so (seemingly) effortlessly skilled in their craft. Anyone who has horses will know the importance of making sure their feet are in top notch shape (‘No foot, no horse’ as the saying goes) and the value of having an expert farrier who can help keep your four-legged friend comfortable and mobile. Martin is very experienced – having been on the job for several decades – and he’s hugely skilled in what he does.

So, how to represent his work in images?

Well, though the work Martin does is physical, I think there’s a perception that working with hot metal, big hammers, an anvil, and furnace means that one’s work might lack a certain ‘finesse’. Nothing could be further from the truth. When one sees a farrier trimming, cutting, shaping and fitting the hoof to the shoe and vice-versa, it’s evident that a great deal of judgment, control, sensitivity, and skill are all involved.

The following images were shot on my Fuji x100f (some with a tele-conversion lens) and I used the ‘Classic Chrome’ film simulation. In post process, I added clarity to get a ‘gritty’ feel, to reflect the fact that it is certainly hot and dirty work. I’ve tried to combine a sense of Martin’s work along with a sense of pattern and shape.

I hope you enjoy the images. My thanks again to Martin. A top job and a true craftsman.