The Bushcraft Show genuinely is my favourite event of the year.
From talks given by such revered names as John “Lofty” Wiseman, Ray Mears, and Will Lord, to name but a few, to expert practical demonstrations from the likes of Jiles Newman; The Bushcraft Show brings together some of the most well known faces and names from around the world.
2017 saw my fourth consecutive year attending the show, and – as always – I was anything but disappointed.
However, this particular article is not about The Bushcraft Show itself; rather an opportunity to share some of my favourite photographs from the event, taken during a special demonstration by Ashlee Lovebox, whom had been performing alongside Clansman Fire for the evenings’ festivities on Saturday and Sunday nights.
I had endured the misfortune of failing to secure an ideal perch from which to snap away during the main performance on the Sunday evening, and so approached Ashlee a few moments after it had concluded with the hopes of getting at least one clear and close photograph.
What Ashlee graced me with vastly exceeded my meagre request, and I’d be lying if I said I was anything less than enchanted.
I had hoped for perhaps one or two photographs, perhaps with Ashlee holding her hula-hoop ablaze, maybe just a couple of static posed shots.
Instead, I was treated to the display you see here between the release of my camera’s shutter; details captured thanks to the magic of technology, but beauty captured by Ashlee’s natural radiance, enhanced (not that such a thing were required) by her dominance over the flames themselves.
For an outdoor enthusiast shutterbug like myself – accustomed more to capturing shots of animals, and macro shots revealing the hidden details of nature – I seldom find the business end of my lens centred on a human face.
Perhaps this is why I am so profoundly happy with these photographs; the unfamiliarity of the subject, and the primal story of that most basic of elements to diverge the human species from its ancient ancestors: the command of fire, and the absence of fear without contempt.
Please enjoy the rest of the photos from this shoot.
Finally, we come to my absolute favourite shot. I’d love to take credit for how amazing it is, but really the credit belongs entirely to Ashlee.
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Attribution should read as follows:
Photo by Simon J Stuart for Packed to Live (www.packedtolive.com)