Wednesday, June 20, 2018

West Coast School and San Diego June 2018

This was my fourth West Coast School from the Professional Photographers of California, headquartered at the University of San Diego.  This time I spent five days with architectural photographer Randy Van Duinen. 

We started off doing table top light painting and that requires a pretty dark room to pull off.  These are long exposures on tripods using small lights to paint across the objects.    

The University of San Diego has many interesting places to photograph.  Since the focus this week was on architecture, we had to photograph the inside of the USD churches.  All were taken using a tripod and a shutter release.  
On one of the evenings we went across the way from Maher Hall where we were staying to light paint the USD School of Law.  One of the interesting challenges I had was the lamp on the right side of the building was burned out.  So I cloned the left lamp on the right side in Photoshop!

On another day we ventured to the University of California San Diego to photograph the "Dr. Seuss" (Geisel) Library.

Then I went underneath the library building to get a shot through the structure.  Note the house on top of the other building in the bottom right corner of the photo (below).  

Another evening we drove down to Ocean Beach.  After finally finding a parking space, I was able to capture a couple of surfers as the sun was going down.  

On Thursday evening of the week, we went to Borrego Springs, about two hours east of San Diego, to photograph the unusual animal sculptures in the desert.  The evening concluded with some light painting.  And oh was it dark!

After the class concluded on Friday, it was time to relax and take in San Diego for a few days before returning to Phoenix.  

Until My Next Adventure,
See You On Down the Road!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Phoenix Zoo and Models at Capture!PhotoCon in Phoenix

I was pleased to spend a long weekend with Nick, Cusi, and other photographers in Phoenix at Capture!PhotoCon from 18 to 20 May 2018.  If you've ever been to Photoshop World you'd have an idea what this conference was all about.  The one great thing for me was that it was local!  A side note:  the "photo" of the white bird in the upper left corner was processed in Lightroom and then with Topaz Simplify.

The first part of this blog will be on the pre-conference photowalk around the Phoenix Zoo with John Qoyawayma.  In the second part, I'll share my model photographs.

The Phoenix Zoo walk was done in the morning, so it's not unusual to see many of the animals sleeping.  John pointed out the need to be patient and that at any time the animals would hear the sound of a food truck and then pop to life.  

The Phoenix Zoo is a fairly large facility and we had four hours to seek out interesting animals.  To the right, you see examples of two very sleepy cats!  

In addition to the challenge of finding animals up and about, there were many frustrated photographers trying to capture images through fencing.  It is possible with a lens 300mm or longer to focus through the fencing if there is enough separation between the subject and background.  

More photos from the Phoenix Zoo are here:

During the conference, there was a number of sponsors who advertised their products.  And there were a few shooting booths where models posed.  I had the opportunity to photograph several of the models using continuous light like the Savage ring light which I fell in love with!  It produces a lovely wrap around light.  And look carefully at the models eyes.  You can see the ring light as catch light in Jami Watts eyes

In addition to photographing Jami, I also photographed Charles Garner, Cynamon Strong, Lindsey Lockwood, Kim Wright, and Shey Assar.

Until My Next Adventure,
See You On Down the Road!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Team Roping at Rancho Rio in Wickenburg

Did you know Wickenburg, Arizona is the capital of team roping?  I didn’t.  Last Saturday I went to Rancho Rio in Wickenburg to find out what was going on.  

It was qualifying time on Saturday 14 April and there was money at stake.  These folks put up their own money to enter and hopefully can get some of that back and more. 

I’m used to photographing rodeos where team roping is one of the many events.  There’s just team roping here.  And there is an association involved in team roping, too.  It’s the NTR or National Team Roping.  

A surprise and a pleasant one that that is that many of the two person teams included women!  I’m guessing father/daughter, husband/wife teams.  And I suspect I saw some father/son teams, too.

The finals of the 14 April event are here!

If you want to learn more about team roping and the culture around it, the Team Roping Journal called the Phoenix area a team roping paradise.  Some of these people are transplanted from other areas of the country, come out to visit Rancho Rio, and eventually make it their part or full time home.

The good news for me is that from the north side of Phoenix, it’s a short under an hour drive.  

Until My Next Adventure,
See You On Down the Road!

… and all the photos!

Late addition:

I took five of my images and did some selective coloring.  I hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Cave Creek Rodeo Sunday 25 March 2018

 One of the finest small PRCA sanctioned rodeos in North America is the Cave Creek Rodeo in Arizona.  I was again there taking photos, this time from the Stockman's Club.

This rodeo might be the most fan friendly and camera friendly rodeo in all of North America.  Sadly, so many of the rodeos and other events as well are limiting "professional" cameras, or cameras that have detachable lenses.  I think they want to stop people from bringing in oversized 150-160mm lenses that looks more like weapons.  I still don't like it.  And the other trend is to require clear plastic bags.  I have no idea how much longer the Cave Creek Rodeo will be so fan and photographer friendly, but I'm enjoying it while it lasts. 

Rodeos have bareback riding, roping, clowns, barrel racing, and of course the headliner is always bull riding.  Eight seconds of hell, if a cowboy lasts that long.  My second favorite event is the ladies barrel racing. 

Until My Next Adventure,
See You On Down the Road!

… and all the photos!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Parada Del Sol Scottsdale Rodeo 11 March 2018

Sunday in the middle of March is time for the Parada Del Sol or Scottsdale Rodeo.  And once again, Westworld was host.  It’s an indoor arena with tricky lighting.  

I brought my second camera, the Canon G3x.  I got some wind from the rodeo people that they might stop me from bringing in my full size Canon 5D Mark IV.  Security could care less what I brought in.  What that ended up meaning was photos with higher grain.  Plus the G3x is a slower camera.  

Patriotism is a big part of rodeos.  That's good.  I love it.  

Bareback riding...

The ladies compete in barrel racing...

And the final event in every rodeo is eight seconds of hell, or bull riding.  

I also photographed steer wrestling, team roping, saddle bronc riding, and tie down roping.  Mark Swingler was the rodeo clown. And, we were also entertained by Whiplash The Cowboy Monkey.  

Given the limitations of an indoor arena for lighting and the limitations of the camera I used, I took more time in post processing, but I still got a decent number of photos.  

Until My Next Adventure,
(Cave Creek Rodeo!)
See You On Down the Road!

… and all the photos!

A Lazy Day at the Races

I spent part of Monday, the 12th of March, as the race track.  In Phoenix, that means Turf Paradise.  It was a warm day in the 80s andI had a camera.

I ran into a nice fellow who told me how scientific he bets.  I told him I look for a name, a sort of commandment from God, as a guide.  For instance, if a horse is named “Wildcat Jim” then he gets $2 to win.   The other method I use is to look at the last serial number on a dollar bill.  On this day, it was 2.  So I put $2 on the 2 horse.  Guess what?  The two horse won!  I got $16.80, enough to pay for a beer and a few hot dogs.  

I used a Canon 5d Mark IV and Tamron’s wonderful 28-300mm lens on my short visit.

Until My Next Adventure,
(Cave Creek Rodeo!)
See You On Down the Road!

… and all the photos!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Neal McCoy in Wickenburg Arizona

A few years ago I saw Neal McCoy at Country Thunder.  I was so impressed.  He had a string of hits in the 90s so I knew his songs.  But he is also funny and did I say talented?

So we went to Wickenburg, Arizona on 4 March 2018 to see him.  I had never driven to Wickenburg, a town about an hour northwest of me.  It’s close enough to Phoenix and yet far enough away to keep it’s western ways.  

Neal and his band performed in the lovely Del Webb Center for Performing Arts on the campus of Wickenburg High School.  Marvelous facility!  As a side note, I bought a beer there for TWO DOLLARS.  

Neal has also done many USO shows for soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, and coasties.  

He sang his hits, but also sang old standards from the likes of Frank Sinatra, showing off his multi-talented skills.  Along with that, he sang the theme song of the Beverly Hillbillies television show RAP STYLE!  

During one song he notice there was an empty seat in the front row.  He stopped the show and asked the gentleman there why the seat was empty.  He said his wife.. was tired.  So Neal said “call her up and give me the phone.”  And he had a nice chat with her on the phone during the set!  It was hilarious.  

Neal's currently popular song is his reaction to NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem called "Take a Knee Kiss My Ass."  He got a standing ovation for that and I have the tee shirt!

I know Neal will be at Country Thunder Arizona coming up in April.  If you get a chance, go see him.  You will love it!   

Until My Next Adventure,
(The Parada del Sol Rodeo in Scottsdale!)
See You On Down the Road!

… and all the photos!