Here in semi-arid Colorado, the Yucca plant can be a nuisance. Oh, I see them often for sale on landscape business lots and in lawn and garden stores, but what people seem to want to purchase to plant around their suburban lawns, we will shovel out or mow down because there are too many.
Honestly, they grow out of control, take up space in our pastures that the horses could graze, and their blades are razor sharp. Yep, I have the scars on my arms and legs to prove it.
But then they flower and… well, then everything is forgiven.
Kind of reminds me of people. There can seem to be too many, they can be bristly, sharp, and painful, and might even be seen as a nuisance.
But then they flower… and everything is forgiven.
Help your family and friends to flower; to blossom and grow where they are planted. Heck, even yourself. You never know… you might be a Yucca in someone else’s eyes.
Today is Flag Day in the United States of America — June 14, 2021.
So what else could I possibly do but put together a patriotic American Flag image out of several of my photos in honor of the day?
Do you know how Flag Day in the USA started? Here is the detail…
Flag Day in the USA commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The Flag Resolution, passed on June 14, 1777, stated: “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
And now you know! Happy Flag Day fellow Americans.
Those words sound almost mournful. The last remaining…
That means there used to be more, maybe even a plentiful supply.
But now there is one.
The last remaining Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard participated again in the 2021 Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo in Elizabeth, CO. If you appreciate having Old Glory honored with a bit of pomp and circumstance, you would love to see how these Marines ride in with the colors and present them for the singing of the National Anthem.
When you go to a rodeo, you know you will be entertained by the action inside the arena, but a good barrelman/rodeo clown can also light up the crowd.
The award winning Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo in Elizabeth, CO has a great funnyman in JW Winklepleck. He provides color and flair to every performance and doesn’t trot out the same stale jokes. He does a great job of helping the audience have an even better time at each performance.
In front of Saturday afternoon’s sold out crowd, Winklepleck determined to “start a new extreme sport of Arena Boarding.” With the assistance of an amused pickup man, Winklepleck boarded the arena sand behind the true meaning of horsepower.
I think it is against the law (okay… maybe not that extreme) to hold a rodeo without a rodeo queen in attendance!
2020 was a lost year for a lot of rodeos and, as a result, a lot of activity and work for the rodeo queens. Rodeo queens are great ambassadors for the sport, and they are involved in a lot of community service, as well.
But of course, taking part in the opening festivities of an award winning rodeo like the Elizabeth Stampede is a major part of what it is all about.
Miss Rodeo Colorado 2020-2021 — Hailey Frederiksen — is finally getting the chance to take part in all the activities she initially thought she would be doing in the year 2020.
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 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. 🙂
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