Wednesday, August 19, 2009
High Prairie CCI** is now under our belt. We survived some hot weather as well as a hefty thunder, lightning and hail storm that put off an entire cross country division until day three. We has a few minutes of panic wondering how we were going to cover two stadium courses and be back out on the cross country course at the same time. Fortunately the event organizers also had similar conflicts and they arranged start times accordingly. We were able to finish up on cross country and scramble back to the stadium rings with enough time to grab a bite to eat. We were "card dumping fools" that night back in the hotel. We had to make sure that all files from all three cameras were correctly transferred from memory cards to hard drives and then to another backup hard drive. A lot of work went into shooting the images and it would be a shame to loose any of them. This even includes carrying the hard drives in and out of restaurants, and another place we may stop as not to let them out of our site. Cristy will be responsible for processing and uploading the entire show once she gets back home. We said good bye to Lynne at DIA (Denver International Airport) after driving through some more rain and passing by the freaky bronc sculpture on the road to the main terminal. Click here to continue and see more images.
When taking photos of horses, one of the huge rules of thumb is to use a zoom lens. 100mm or more was a guideline I was once given and the longer the better. Wider angles distort the horse, often horribly. Huge noses and tiny legs... You see them everywhere in family pet snapshots and once you learn to see it, you find it often crops up in many artist's paintings and drawings because they were working from a photograph shot with a less than ideal zoom. I have dutifully stuck to this rule for ages with the exception of taking pictures in small spaces, such as the vet clinic exam and surgery rooms for documentary work.
In my quest to give the horse event competitor the best and most unique shots of their horses, I constantly experiment with angles, shutter speed, depth of field, light and now lenses. Click Here to read the rest and see more images.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
The last time I’d been to Devonwood was 10 years ago, at the very first incarnation of the show. The place was barely finished then, but it had the makings of a very special showgrounds, so it was a treat to return and see the landscaping all grown in, the indoor arena and barn complete, and the scenery just as stunning.
The view from Devonwood is all about the trees. Big, tall, straight-standing pines, the kind we don’t have in San Diego. They smell good. They house red-tail hawks. They cast lots of welcome shade, which cooled things down even when the temperature soared into the mid 90’s like it did on Friday.
Each of the competition arenas at Devonwood has its own flavor. the Sand Arena is where the big classes go on, and it’s in an amphitheater flanked by a VIP tent and a grassy hillside where spectators lounge. The Terrace Arena is just above it and just just below the Vendor Village, which was home to about two dozen shops for the weekend. At the top of the hill is the aptly names Sylvan arena, which surrounded by pines on three sides, and has a view of Mt Hood. The fourth arena is the Indoor. Now, this is not your basic-box indoor area: this is an airy, skylighted cathedral of dressage, graced on one end by a stunningly beautiful mural by artist Joanne Mehl.