Bury photographers share their best sporting shots

Gravy wrestling, a Lancashire favourite

Gravy wrestling, a Lancashire favourite - Credit: Bev Heyes

Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding - Credit: Richard Watson-Hoy

A group of amateur sports photographers from Bury have teamed up with one of the UK’s foremost photographic and video outlets to stage an exhibition of their work.

The pictures feature many sports that rarely receive mainstream media attention. In the past five years they have travelled to sporting events as diverse as weightlifting, water polo, ice dancing and carriage driving and included minority pursuits such as mounted archery, roller derby and even gravy wrestling.

High octane motorbike action

High octane motorbike action - Credit: Bev Hayes

Their images have been praised by top newspaper photographer, Andy Hooper, Chief Sports Photographer of the Daily Mail and six times British Professional Sports Photographer of the Year.

Mounted Archery is one of the less well-known sports featured in the exhibition

Mounted Archery is one of the less well-known sports featured in the exhibition - Credit: Steve Smith

The exhibition of dramatic images produced by members of Bury Photographic Society’s sports special interest group will begin a three month run at Wex Photo Video in Manchester starting on Saturday February 26th. They were inspired by Mr Hooper’s practical guide to sports photography, “Capture the Moment”, which he wrote to coincide with the London Olympics.

Having been sent the photographs of the 40 prints and 30 digital images which will appear in the exhibition he told the amateurs that they had really brought out a sense of drama in their pictures. ‘Enjoy your variety and your freedom and keep up the great work you are doing,’ he told them.

Quidditch is among the newer sports to feature

Quidditch is among the newer sports to feature - Credit: Eb Swarbrick

The co-leader of the group is Martin Henfield who took up photography when he retired as a reporter and presenter with BBC TV’s North West Tonight. 

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‘I was never a sports reporter,’ said Martin. ‘But I was attracted to sports photography because of the strong emotions involved- elation, despair, determination, aggression. It all shows in the face and makes for great pictures whether it’s players, fans or management, all the expressions tell a story.’ 

Martin said acquiring accreditation to shoot pictures at certain sports was difficult and sometimes impossible for amateurs but the group offer to make their photographs available to sports organisers who use them on their social media outlets or for posters and banners. ‘We sometimes shoot alongside professionals who are most helpful with advice and encouragement once they realise we are not there to undercut them,’ said Martin 

Water polo action

Water polo action - Credit: Martin Henfield

Kamyar Ghanbari for Wex, which has branches throughout the country, said: ‘We are delighted to host this exhibition at our Manchester store because it features a wide range of sports which rarely see the spotlight. It’s part of our community involvement to support the passion we share in photography.’ 

Hurdling

Hurdling - Credit: Maurice Wilson

The exhibition at Wex Photo Video, Downing Street Industrial Estate, Charlton Place, Ardwick, Manchester, M12 6HH runs from February 26th to May 20th and entry is free. 

Bury Photographic Society (buryps.co.uk) meets on a Thursday at Fishpools Liberal Club, Nelson Street, Bury and welcomes both beginners and experienced photographers.

Gymnastics

Gymnastics - Credit: Maurice Wilson

Tough Mudders in their element

Tough Mudders in their element - Credit: Garry Heyes