Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Halt a horse

Mark M. Hancock / © The Dallas Morning News

Kara Lowe (right) of the All American Cowgirl Chicks horseback drill team from Weatherford performs during the opening ceremony for the Lewisville Saddle Club's 39th annual Labor Day Rodeo at the Lewisville Saddle Club on Saturday, August 30, 2003.

What’s wrong with this photo?

This is a nighttime photograph. The horses are at full gallop. The horses and riders are moving forward as well as up and down. The flags are fluttering as they race along. But somehow everything is still sharp.

As always, click on the photo to see a larger, sharper image.

Most country rodeos have a few (maybe 10) flood lights. At really classy community rodeos, organizers rent mercury vapor flood lights with generators to light the arena with a beautiful bug-green light. This might yield an ambient light of about f/2.8 at 1/60 on 1600iso – not enough to even get mutton bustin’ at night. The animals (bulls particularly) move in multiple directions simultaneously and make everything blur.

For the photo above, I used my beast-strobe (1200 watts per head) and shot f/8 at 1/640 on 800iso – with 3’ by 4’ softboxes on two heads. Aren’t you jealous. :)

The organizers were super cool (thanks guys!), and let me set up my strobes in the announcer’s booth over the chutes. I hung the softboxes over the rail so they lit the chute end of the arena.

Since the booth was wired with household current, I thought they were going to make me stop because the whole arena would dim after each shot (I was pulling 2400 watts in two seconds after each shot). It made some folks nervous, but I showed them the results on my LCD, and they let me keep working.

For their coolness, I posted this image to let everyone know this rodeo will be held again this year in Lewisville, Texas over Labor Day weekend. Go see it so they won’t hate me forever. Take your kids, and let ‘em ride a sheep. Additional images from this event are posted on my portfolio.

Enough for now,


E said...

Will you make me a print of one of your "texas-ish" photos? And then sign it? I'd love to mat and frame it and put it up in my new place.

Mark M. Hancock said...

Replied via e-mail.