Polo is the sport of kings. Here in the Coachella valley, California -it belongs to everyone, to the Eldorado and Empire clubs, to young and old, to women and men, to the green grass and vast sky. And to a photographer’s curiosity.
The noble origins run through the grounds, and obvious tradition but my lens is drawn to the physicality of it, the preparation, the stables, the work and sport. And also to the relationships, among teammates, between ponies and riders, even those of dogs and their duties.Polo is among the world’s oldest known team sports. It is both ancient and of this moment, in my backyard. I’m not the first, but it can still be discovered, explored and recorded.
I was the man without the horse, but this close group was happy to share their sport and passion with me. I spent many days watching, and shooting, finding simple moments in the action and across sprawling fields. I was allowed the freedom to wander through the stables where I was met with friendly waves and willing subjects. I made photographs and some friends. Polo, my latest personal project.
About Markku Lahdesmaki
Markku Lahdesmaki was born in Finland. He was eight years of age when his uncle gave him a simple black-and-white camera to take photos of the family. His second camera was a Hasselblad at the age of 16. His father asked him what he wanted as a birthday present, a Hasselblad camera or a motorbike. He thought that by making money with his camera he could buy a motorbike later. [Official Website]
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