Sunday, August 31, 2008

I don't get a chance to shoot much rodeo action so I really look forward to the Kendall County Fair & Rodeo each year.  Arena lighting is pretty abysmal so action shots are difficult, but getting there early gives me a chance to shoot all the prep work that goes on, everything from cowboys putting rosin on their ropes to famous bull-fighters (rodeo clowns to some of you) like Leon Coffee preparing his 'mildly' modified Model T. Mr. Coffee has a stellar biography as a world-famous bull-fighter/rodeo clown and puts on a great show in between the various rides. If you want to learn more about bull-fighting and Leon Coffee, this Texas Monthly article is well worth your time.

Finally, as I learn more about rodeo and watch the action, the riders called Pick-up Men are clearly the unsung heros of the arena. I watched these guys save downed riders from ticked off broncs, lasso and haul off a runaway bull that got out during barrel racing (now THAT was exciting) and do it as if they were welded to their horse.  Next time you're at a rodeo watch these guys work, they're amazing.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

David Griffin, National Geographic

Most people have never heard of TED, but if you are a photographer or just appreciate fine photojournalism you should take some time to browse their site, particularly for the many speaker videos and the annual prize presentations.

"The TED Prize is designed to leverage the TED Community's exceptional array of talent and resources. It is awarded annually to three exceptional individuals who each receive $100,000 and, much more important, the granting of "One Wish to Change the World." After several months of preparation, they unveil their wish at an award ceremony held during the TED Conference. These wishes have led to collaborative initiatives with far-reaching impact."

If you have a few minutes this presentation by David Griffin, photo editor for National Geographic, about the power of photography is worth your time.  The segment on the leopard seal at the end might remind you of your house cat, if she was twelve feet long and ate penguins for lunch.  Use the hi-res video link for the best multi-media experience.

2007 winner James Nachtwey's presentation is another gem in this diamond mine of communicators and innovators.

Enjoy your visit...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

High School Football is hard

Boerne-Champion High School scrimmaged San Antonio South San today so I figured it was good time for me to practice my technique before the regular season starts.  In case anyone is wondering, high school football is hard to least shoot and get good images. Luckily the teams were already at work when I got there around 5PM so the light was still good, but once the Varsity started to play and the sun began to disappear things got a bit more difficult.  Given that all the regular season games are at night, it actually was perfect for working on my strobe technique.
So lighting aside, ever try to get make a meaningful picture with 22 guys running into each other at high speed? I did find that the fake handoffs worked great on me while my eye was in the viewfinder. 
Lots of fun for sure and reminded me of when I was fit and fearless...a long time ago.  
Probably the most memorable experience was being down on the field in the midst of the teams and realizing how hard working and motivated all the coaches were. Supportive, reinforcing, name it, these guys care.  (OK, maybe there was a bit of tough love also going on.) They clearly love what they are doing and manage to remember everyone's name while they were at it.  Way cool....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Moonlight Fund Needs Your Help

I had the opportunity to shoot The Moonlight Fund Airshow last year. This is an outstanding local organization that provides support for burn victims and their families, both military and civilian.

Please take a moment and read Celia's letter and visit their website. With your personal support and any support you may be able to champion from your company they will be able to continue their critical efforts.  Good descriptive video here.

I'm afraid it's too late to fund this year's airshow, but with continued support for burn victims and 2009 corporate budgets being committed now, we hope it will return next year as a principal fund raiser.

You may contact Celia or make an online tax deductible donations
here via PayPal.

Checks may be sent to:  The Moonlight fund, 405 Johns Rd. Boerne, TX 78006.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

Did I mention its been hot? Football will be kicking off soon (ouch) and I'm looking forward to covering the Boerne-Champion High School games this year.  In addition to providing game coverage on my website I'll also be providing images to, a CBS Sports affiliate that provides nationwide coverage of high school varsity sports.

 A couple of other minor blog updates:
  • For Sale list at the bottom of stuff collecting dust and looking for a better home.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hill Country Cypress

Saturday was a nice day, if you waited for the sun to get closer to Japan than San Antonio and the temperature to get below 100F. Once that happened I took my bike and made a run up to Waring to catch the afternoon sun on the Guadalupe River and the gorgeous Cypress trees....along with the residents of a neighboring horse farm.