Sunday, July 17, 2011

Calgary Stampede 2011

Well I survived my first and last rodeo. Actually, I only stayed for less than an hour, I think. It's not just that I don't get a thrill out of spurring an animal to buck, I'm just not a sports person, period.

So, I wandered around the grounds looking for people shots. It was late in the day when I shot this, my favorite photo of the day.

My favorite part of Stampede is watching the competitive dancers in the Indian Village. This elder was one of the judges, I think. The dances commenced at his command. I'm sure he knew I was shooting him. Later he struck a whimsically thoughtful pose.

The lighting situation was a bit tricky. It was later in the afternoon, around 6:00ish, and I had to work around bright sunlight and dark shadows. I used spot metering throughout, but alternated between using the Canon 50D (for this distance shot) and the Pentax K-5 (with a 50mm lens) for closer shots.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Calgary Stampede 2011

Can't sleep. I had a look at the CPRA rodeo rules so that I would know what to watch out for in terms of getting a great shot today.

Then I remembered, even though I am a born and raised Calgarian there's a reason that I've never wanted to see a rodeo. No wonder animal activists get uptight. It's going to be tough for me to photograph this action without cringing or wanting to close my eyes.

I'm more of a Cowboy Up Challenge fan. It's a kinder, gentler rodeo with not a bad winning purse. The audience sees samples of the cowboy lifestyle and lively competition with minimal animal cruelty.

Even watching the Calgary Stampede Rodeo 101 videos didn't help. Could be what's contributing to my insomnia.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

nothing like the sun 2

nothing like the sun 2 by Wanderfull1
nothing like the sun 2, a photo by Wanderfull1 on Flickr.

Having an awesome time in the SAIT photography program... wish you all were here. The lectures are great, especially the personal side tips that are thrown in, and the assignments are amazing.

So far, we've completed the Basic and Intermediate classes, and two thirds of the Photoshop for Photographers class. This morning we started the Sports Photography class. Tomorrow we shoot the Stampede rodeo... yahoo!

In the spirit of sharing knowledge here are web site links for four out of five of the amazing instructors teaching this summer's fast track program and their classes. (Stephan Jarche teaches the Intermediate Photography class, but does not have a web site.)

* George Webber (Basic Photography)
* Anthony Neilson (Photoshop for Photographers, and Digital Darkroom)
* Dr. Rob Berdan (Sports, and Scenic & Wildlife Photography)
* Patrick Kornak (Studio Portrait Lighting, and Wedding Photography)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Calgary Stampede 2011

The Super Dogs are always fun to watch and photograph. Unfortunately, they're not in the Corral any more, and you have to stand in line a long time before you can see them.

My friend and I risked visiting the grounds on Family Fun Day. We tried to see the 12:00 showing of the dogs, but wound up standing in line for an hour to get tickets for the 2:30 show. The usher suggested we come back at 2:00 to get a seat.

We joined the line, which wound past the Big 4 Building into the midway, around 1:30. Basically we stood in line for two hours for a 45 minute show. Crazy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

SAIT FastTrack Photography Certificate Program

IMG_1956sm by Wanderfull1
IMG_1956sm, a photo by Wanderfull1 on Flickr.

Well, I've finished the first of eight classes of the SAIT Photography Certificate Program. Today I did the final for Basic Photography 200 taught by George Webber, got 90% on the final, and some nice comments about my photos -- including some class "awwws" for Kitlin's portrait.

Tomorrow, I start Photoshop for Photographers with Anthony Neilson. Mr. Webber warned us that he is a fast pace instructor. I hope I can keep up. Last time I took a PhotoShop course it was at Mount Royal and the computer and my camera wouldn't talk to each other. I was a tad behind throughout most of the class. Here's hoping that the same thing doesn't happen tomorrow.


* SAIT assignments posted on Flickr.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Millarville Canada Day Races 2011 - true north strong

As per tradition, Canada Day was spent with friends at the Millarville horse races. This was the 106th running of the races. In perspective, the Calgary Stampede celebrates its 100th anniversary next year.

Every year on Canada Day, Millarville has horse races, kid foot races, locally made food, crafty vendors and lots of people. This year was really special. I had a blast shooting candid shots of people and I made a little money.

Although, I'm still trying to figure out stuff on my Pentax, I was able to take a few good candid shots of bystanders, as well as participants. I took this shot of kids racing while we were having our picnic in the infield. Capturing the racing horses was a bit trickier. Mostly it was trying to get them in focus. The Pentax has a 50-200 mm lens and quite often I was wishing I could get a wider angle like the Canon 50D, which has a 18-200mm lens. I figured the extreme dust would not be a good thing for the Canon, though, so took the weatherproof Pentax instead. Looks like I might be searching for another Pentax lens.

I've never bet on the horses before, so my friend's husband set me up. I picked the horse, gave him $2 and he did the rest. I won $12 and change. Very cool.