Well that was a great way to spend a day! A New Hampshire antique tractor pull at the Ponderosa Salvage. I enjoyed every moment of it. I was only planning on taking pictures, but it turns out I’m hooked on antique tractor pulling. The owner, Rick, of Panderosa Salvage, offered me his 1950 Minneapolis Moline tractor to pull in two classes: 5500# and 6000#. I spent a good portion of my visit learning how to drive the 1950 Minneapolis Moline for the tractor pull, rather than taking pictures (you can call me a slacker ). Once I completed my classes, I stayed to watch the pro’s enter in the 7000# class. Men and women of all ages pulled antique tractors all day long. I found it surprising to see a high number of women enter in the tractor pull (I think I was the oldest female, LOL). Close to 40% were women pulling antique tractors today. There is something about a woman on a tractor, just ask the men out there what it is. At the end of the day, everyone seemed to have a great time.
I’ve been very lucky with the camera, either by capturing a moment or by being part of the actual event (not just taking photos of it). Each time I bring my camera to an event, I seem to get so much more than just a photo… I seem to make new friends along the way. Thank you Rick, Chris, Sarah, Charlie, Brooke, and the rest of the crew for registering me in last minute for the tractor pull, teaching me the rules, and having patience with a newbie. This sure was a fun, memorable day!
First off, I need to apologize for not being consistent in submitting a post once a week. My camera has been with me and I’ve been looking for a new shot to share with you. I just hadn’t found a story to share along with a photo. It has taken me several weeks to post, but finally it’s here… a little something from this past week.
I attended the last Farmer’s Market in Antrim for 2011. The day was a success with the off-season temperatures being in the 80′s and a steady flow of people attending. Several farmers gathered their products giving their final effort to sell locally as the season comes to an end. Farmers are all ending the year in hopes that their prediction with the growth seasons and what they ended with for produce will provide a good return for profit.
October is one of my favorite month’s of the year. Harvest time, the evening temperatures teasing us with the first frost, the smell of wood stoves burning, bright colored leaves on the trees, minimal mosquitoes, and throwing on a jacket or sweatshirt to take the chill off.
This time having known the routine and some of the most well know photographers from the last time, allowed me to advance into other lectures and workshops taught by more professional photographers. I took “crash courses” on light painting, photoshop techniques, landscape photography, compositing, HDR, photojournalism, sports photography, and more!
I grabbed my camera and met some friends at the Hopkinton State Fair to watch the Rodeo in the Grandstand. I started out in the bleachers, but soon enough became too antsy to be confined to a seat, so I needed to find a better spot to capture the event. I approached the fence – the closest you can get as a spectator and was disappointed. The fence was in the way, bad angle to capture the event, and I would be blocking the view from the people sitting in the front row. Julie, a wife of one of the riders (whom I’ve never met before), was there watching her man prepare for their competition. I asked her a couple of questions about the risks of bull riding. She answered the questions, then asked me if I worked for “the paper”. I told her: “No, I’m taking pictures for personal use and this is my first Rodeo experience.” That was all I needed to say… Five minutes later, Julie had me in the safety pen with the cowboys. It’s amazing what doors open up when you are willing to make conversation with a camera and a smile. I was the closest you can get to the bulls, the action, and the risk without being on the bull.
I was trying to find the right formula to prepare my camera for the low-light situation with the overhead floodlights being my main light. The lighting, my lens, and flying dirt from the bulls pounding their hooves, wasn’t easy on the camera. I pushed my camera to it’s limit, trying to capture the fast action in a low-light situation. I was ill-prepared and challenged with one lens (my 70-300 lens) and had only the environment light (no flash) to work with. I needed a faster shutter speed and wider aperture. I cranked my ISO up to 3200 and the lens was as wide as it could go.
I’m truly grateful to have had the up close and personal experience at the rodeo. I was within 5 feet from the bulls as they waited their turn to challenge a rider in the arena. To be there to capture the cowboys on camera as they prepared for competition and as they rode bad-tempered bulls was truly amazing!
I hope to meet these guys again someday with a better lens.