Saturday, August 16, 2008


King Clown
Originally uploaded by Thorpeland
North Texas State Fair
So with the NTSF starting last night, I was excited to give my new f2.8 lens a real test. A fair/rodeo is traditionally a very tough event to photograph because of the poor lighting and fast action. I got to the rodeo grounds just after it started and found a seat as close as I could to the arena. I mounted my 200mm lens, set the aperture to f2.8 and started out with ISO1600 in hopes of keeping grain to a minimum. After the first few shots it was clear to me I would need ISO3200 to get a decently bright exposure. Thank goodness the Canon 30D has decent low grain performance at high ISO. I can also fix it up in Photoshop during post processing with grain removal.

Now for those who know me, I am about as far from 'country western' as you can get. Sitting in the stands I felt like a round peg trying to get into a square hole. I was wearing cargo shorts, t-shirt and running shoes and I was surrounded by cowboy hats with cow manure covered cowboy boots. Oh well, I was out for some good action shots. Although I was reminded of where I was when the lady one row in front of me turned around to towards her cowboy friend and screamed, "gimme the Copenhagen!". Im sorry, I am just not used to seeing women as for/use chewing tobacco. Just odd. Anyhow the event was up and running and I started snapping away. I managed to get a few keepers, but it was a 15 to 1 bad/good ratio. Because of the low lighting my average shutter speed was around 1/60 to 1/80 of a sec. Which caused some unwanted motion blur. Overall a good evening for some unusual action shots.
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