Since it is an American holiday and kind of the kickoff to the summer grilling season, Memorial Day is a time when grills and smokers get fired up all across the fruited plain. We did our part and even went vintage by using buffalo meat for the burgers.
While many people tend to treat the Memorial Day holiday as an extended weekend, the kickoff to summertime grilling, or even a time to throw a party…
It is much more than that.
It is a time to remember those who have died in military service for our country. They died serving to protect the freedoms we so often take for granted and now even see eroding away around us.
It is a time to reflect on their sacrifices and the importance of the freedoms and American way of life they died to protect and preserve.
Most important… it is an opportunity to honor their ultimate sacrifices by being the best American citizens we can be. That means being an American that stands for freedom, stands against evil and corruption in all their forms, and honors the flame of a Christian-nation vision first held aloft by our Founding Fathers.
May this Memorial Day weekend find you blessed and willing to reflect on the debt we owe to those who have sacrificed their lives to preserve our American way of life. The pen of Abraham Lincoln was mighty and I cannot improve upon the words he wrote and then spoke during his Gettysburg Address:
“… we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
God bless you and yours during this upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
The new camera arrived a few days ago! I’ve been busy shooting with it around the property and learning what it can do. I’ve also been reading the manual – yes, I do that – to try and get up to speed with all the latest features that have been added to Canon pro DSLR cameras (EOS 1D series) since I last purchased the 1D MkIII 14 years ago.
Let me tell you, the upgrade is massive. One of the first tests I put it through was to check out its High ISO performance. My trusty old 1D MkIII could not get useable shots at anything higher than 2,500 ISO. The image was simply too noisy (full of grain and chromatic issues). Even at 2,500 ISO, it was a must for me to use noise reduction software in post-processing to produce images I could send to magazines for publication. Does the brand new 1Dx MkIII live up to its hype and will it help reduce my workflow on High ISO images?
In a word… Yes! The following close up of the side of an antique hat box was captured using an ISO of 40,000 (which is 16 times greater than I could ever do with my previous camera and still have a useable image). Although resizing for web use takes out image grain, the image was very useable at its original size. No noise reduction software was used on the following image.
My next test was wandering outside and testing it out in some challenging light conditions. One light condition I have often encountered when shooting for magazine stories has been the high contrast, direct sun issue. I can usually figure a way to obtain another angle that will avoid the direct sun that can cause flares and blow out highlights on an image, etc., but I can’t do that every single time. So I took some shots that had bright setting sun (lower and more direct towards the lens) in the background of a scene with a lot of contrasting dark and light colors. That can be pretty tricky for the camera to process, but the 1Dx MkIII handled it with aplomb.
I was using the Aperture Priority setting and opened the lens up fairly wide (F5.6). While the background light was bright, it did not blow or become too contrasty (is that even a word?). In fact, the darkness around the edges of this image was from a software filter. The original image had consistent light from edge to edge.
I’ve also shot in burst mode with AI Servo tracking and it has not lost a shot to blurred focus yet. Granted, I’ve just been focus tracking our older dog and our fairly low-key horses, but it hasn’t missed yet. And the burst mode is impressive at 16fps vs my previous 10fps. I shoot burst mode on a regular basis for my rodeo photography. My old 1D would miss the focus on a number of shots during some indoor event lower-light burst shooting, but I worked around it to make sure I caught peak action (most of the time!). With the 1Dx MkIII, there does not appear (as of yet) that there will be a need to work around indoor event lower-light burst mode misfocuses. That factor will lessen my need to take more shots, which will decrease my after-event work to choose the shots to send to the magazines. In other words… it will be a big time saver. I will be shooting some evening outdoor rodeo performances within the next couple of weeks. I will really put it through its paces then.
I still have to put the 1Dx MkIII through some challenging video capture scenarios, but the quick videos I have taken so far (mundane stuff like rainfall and our old pup) seem to point toward a robust and user friendly experience. It looks like I will be able to quickly switch back and forth between still shooting and video capture, which will open up a wider range of opportunities for magazine submissions. That’s what the pro cameras are supposed to do, right?
Thanks for reading. I will make further posts as I continue to use the latest Canon 1Dx MkIII. It should be a fun ride.
I love history. I love vintage things. Learning of history and seeing vintage/antique items are a way to keep the past alive and even tangible. An ancestor of mine had a beautiful hat box (do they even make hat boxes anymore?) that was hand crafted about 150 years ago. You will know what I mean by “hand crafted” when you see the images.
Gorgeous. Artistic. Amazing. They don’t make things like they used to.
While we may not wish to hold on to the past, it is not a bad idea to treasure it. It is not coming back.
The Fence Post magazine has published my full article and photos on their website (and soon in their print edition) about the upcoming 2021 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo (June 03-06) in Elizabeth, CO.
Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo president Traci McClain took the time to sit down and talk with me during one of their volunteer work days at the rodeo grounds. It was rough for them to have to cancel 2020’s rodeo, but they are really looking forward to starting it up again this year.
After being forced to cancel their world famous rodeo in 2020, Cheyenne Frontier Days, “The Daddy of ‘Em All!” will return in 2021 (July 23-August 01) with the 125th running at the historic Wyoming venue.
I missed the rodeo when it didn’t run last year, and I look forward to heading back up to Cheyenne this year in July when it returns with a bang.
I thought I would attach some photos of mine taken during some past CFD rodeos. I hope you enjoy.
Just a few photos from some past CFD rodeos. I hope you liked them. I know I am looking forward to getting back there in 2021!
I get my full use out of items. If I buy a pair of jeans, I wear them until they are frayed and full of holes. My shirts get thrown out only when they have MORE than one hole that can’t be repaired. My boots get new heels and leather repairs to the front and sides before they are in such bad shape I can’t wear them any more. We own vehicles closer to classic car designations than they are to being new.
You get the idea.
It is the same with my camera gear. When I made the splurge to up my magazine shooting game and buy a top of the line Canon pro camera, it was 2007’s EOS 1D Mark III. In the last 14 years, I have lost count of how many events I have covered, people I have captured, and sheer volume of photos I have taken with that camera, and it has been reliable and excellent for me the whole way.
But it is time for a new one.
The latest generation Canon 1Dx Mark III is on order and should be arriving soon. As you can imagine, I am looking forward to it. Compared to my trusty old 2007 1D Mark III, the new 1Dx Mark III has twice the resolution (20+ MP versus 10+ MP), a faster burst rate (16 frames per second versus 10 frames per second), has a higher usable ISO range (sounds like 20k+ ISO is very usable versus my current paltry 2.5K ISO), and has excellent video capability, which my current 1D does not. For the shooting I do for magazines and my stock/fine art galleries, those features are all good things, let me tell you.
Now… if I can get 14 or more years out of this new Canon 1Dx, I will be a happy camper. 🙂
2021 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo is ready to go for June 03-06, 2021
Forced to cancel the 2020 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo in Elizabeth, CO, rodeo organizers were faced with more unknowns in the beginning of 2021, but they rolled up their sleeves and secured 150% of sponsorships they had in the past. It was a strategy that allowed them to move forward.
“We did it,” said Elizabeth Stampede President Traci McClain. “We got 50% more sponsors than we have ever had in the past — 150% of normal. The community really stepped up. They reached out and supported us in a big way.”
With the state of Colorado dropping mask mandates in May and declaring other coronavirus state public health orders will expire June 01, Stampede officials are looking forward to a busy rodeo, albeit one with safety measures and precautions in place.
“We want everyone to be safe,” added McClain. “I think we have the safeguards in place that we need to do to make it safe for our participants – contestants, spectators, contractors, everybody – to allow them to make choices.”
Kicking off with a concert on Thursday night (June 03) that features three entertainers or, as Stampede organizers like to call it, “A Trio of Talent” — the three dynamic up-and-comers are making a splash in the music scene: Dillon Carmichael, Lainey Wilson, and Kameron Marlowe.
Friday night is bull riding and is annually sold out in advance of the rodeo, and Saturday night’s PRCA rodeo is annually sold out in advance, as well. The afternoon performances on Saturday and Sunday traditionally have solid crowds, but walk up tickets can usually be purchased. Don’t miss out on Sunday afternoon’s Red, White & Blue Rodeo, which features a love of all things USA and honors those who have served and are serving in our nation’s armed forces.
“Life, Liberty and Rodeo,” summed up McClain in reference to a new trademarked slogan and apparel design they have come up with for 2021’s rodeo. “That is our guiding principle, this year.”
For more information on the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo or to purchase tickets for the concert or any of the rodeo performances, check out their website at https://www.elizabethstampede.com/