What a Rush!!!!!

This week has been wonderful.  While Shooting the West (shootingthewest.org) was awesome, the days before and since were equally wonderful.

I was in the final stages of building my STW presentation and needed a little break, so I decided to try something new – flowers overlaid on a textured background.  I’ve played with the technique before, but not with a specific goal in mind.  I had some textures in a folder, and the flowers from my backyard this Spring were great candidates.  To make a long story short, the results are wonderful and I will be making them into note cards and prints.  I’m thinking about canvas prints, too, but we’ll see.  Here they are!BLND3950-TXTR0250-a-w




I drove to Winnmeucca last Thursday.   I took my time and enjoyed the drive.  A couple months ago, I got my US 50 Survival Guide from the Nevada Commission on Tourism, so I planned to get a couple stamps while I was on the road.  The Dayton Chamber of Commerce was closed, but Fernley’s was open so I got my first stamp!  For the uninitiated, the US 50 Survival Guide is designed to promote travel on the Loneliest Road in America.  When I get 5 stamps, I qualify for my US 50 Survivor certificate and sticker for my car!

While on the road, I got a call from a senior center in Carson City.  They were hosting a fundraiser for wild horse adoption, and wondered if I would bring some wild horse pictures to display and sell.  The fundraiser was on Tuesday, so I would have to work quick when I got home on Sunday.  I agreed and put it on my calendar.

I got to Winnemucca in good time, so I stopped by the Convention Center to check in and coordinate my presentation with the audio-visual tech.  He downloaded my file and everything worked, so that was one less thing to worry about.  I bumped into a friend who was finishing his workshops, so we grabbed our cameras and headed for the Humboldt River for a few pictures before dinner.  All we found were small birds, so we visited the local Museum.  I encourage you to stop in when you visit Winnemucca – the Museum is great!

Dinner with more friends at the Martin, a local Basque restaurant.  It was a busy night so we had a wait, but it was worth it!  I had pork ribs that were wonderful!

Friday morning and Shooting the West kicked off for me.  I enjoyed seeing old friends, making new ones, and meeting people that are friends on Facebook.  The presentations were great, with diverse subjects and beautiful images.  The keynote speaker was Drew Gurian, who discussed his work as a photographer in New York City.  Other presentations included ranch photography, large format photography, and a wildlife photography presentation, along with presentation of awards for the Range Outback Photo Contest.  I had a great conversation with  the Canon representative, who showed me how to use the in-camera HDR feature on my 7D Mark II.  An interesting process, worthy of a few pixels sometime.  (See my blog ‘An Amazing Week for Me’ on March 29, 2016, for a discussion on High Dynamic Range photography).

My presentation was Saturday afternoon, but I wasn’t worried.  I had practiced and I was ready.  I paid close attention to the morning presenters.  I was almost sold on mirrorless cameras until the presenter told us about the negatives – short battery life and very susceptible to getting dirty when changing lenses.  I enjoyed the presentation on photo workshops and tours, but started to get a little nervous as my start time got closer.  Finally, it was my turn.  I took the stage and, of course, the AV tech ran into difficulty starting my presentation.  I knew it would happen, but I only had 15 minutes and a couple jokes.  He resolved things quickly and I began.  Don’t ask me what I said – I have no idea, and I only had to rush a little at the end.  I got great feedback from everyone afterwards, so I feel good about it.

Sunday morning, and I’m off to the car show and air show at the airport.  Here’s a little of what I saw!


I forgot the year, but this is a Hupmobile.


You see the darndest things at a car show. The guy on the left was showing this home-built camp trailer, towed by his Model A.


There were several military vehicles there. This is a beautiful Willys Jeep.


The local tractor club was showing, too. I always enjoy an old Ford tractor.


I didn’t get close enough to see if it was armed or not!

After the car/plane show, I headed east to Battle Mountain to have lunch with an old Air Force friend and his wife.  On the way, I decided to try that in-camera HDR feature.


This is the in-camera image. It’s nice, but a little off from what I like in an HDR image.


Using the bracketed exposures, I merged them in Photomatix with a little nicer result.


Another in-camera image. Notice the ‘ghosting’ or multiple images of the car on the right side of the image. When using this feature, I will have to be careful to ensure that nothing moves, since the camera aligns the bracketed exposures, but doesn’t account for ghosting.


Here’s the merge I did in Photomatix. Bottom line – in-camera HDR could be useful in the right place at the right time, but it will not replace my existing HDR workflow.

On Monday, I got ready for the fundraiser on Tuesday.  The money raised will support the Nevada Discovery Ride (www.NevadaDiscoveryRide.com).  This August, Samantha Szesciorka and her horse, Sage, will undertake a 1,000 mile journey to encourage wild horse adoption.  The weather was excellent and I met many nice people – sales were good, too!  Samantha is very nice, and I wish her well on her ride.

Okay, that’s it for this post.  I’m taking a little time and working on the yard (I finally mowed the lawn this morning!), but I will be showing at Something in the Wind at the Dangberg Ranch on May 14 and 15.  Come on by and see the kites – make sure you say hello!