The Art of the Ride …

PBR 2015

It’s that time of year again, the PBR is back in town. Today I thought I’d explain the art of the ride, and how it’s judged. Believe me, there is more here than meets the eye.

 

PBR 2015

.

The cowboy must ride the bull for a full 8 seconds to earn a score. The clock starts to tick when the bulls shoulder, or hip, breaks the plane of the gate, and it stops ticking when the riders hand comes out of his rope. These 8 seconds can be an eternity when straddled on top of a bull weighing approximately 1,600-1,700 pounds. The PBR bucking bulls very rarely weigh less than 1,200 pounds and can weigh as much as 2,000-2,200 pounds.

.

PBR 2015-12

Each ride is worth up to 100 points, 50 for the bull, and 50 for the cowboy if he successfully stays onboard for the full 8 seconds. There are 4 judges that can award up to 25 points each to the rider and the bull. Those points are added together and divided in half to reach a score between 0 and 50 for both. Those final numbers are then combined to reach a final ride score between 0 and 100. Any score over 90 points is considered a ‘home run’ of bull riding. The highest score ever earned in the PBR is 96.5, a feat accomplished by only 3. It amazes me, I never imagined that the bull was also rated. A beast is a beast, and a brute is a brute, but in the PBR that just isn’t so.

.

PBR 2015-10

 

 

The cowboy is judged on how well he matches the bull’s moves and maintains control of the ride. He must ride with one hand and is disqualified if he touches himself or the bull during the 8 seconds.PBR 2015-7

Extra points may also be awarded to the cowboy for style, such as spurring, which demonstrates a greater sense of control. The definition of spurring: to urge forward by digging one’s spurs into its sides.

.

PBR 2015-8

 

The bull is judged on his athleticism and difficulty to ride, his spin to the right or left, direction changes, kick in the back end, drop in the front, and body rolls. A body roll occurs when the bull is in the air and kicks either his hind feet or all four to the side. In essence, the more the bull kicks and hollers, the better his score, and apparently his worth.

.

PBR 2015-3
.

In the photo below, do you see the man with the clown face? with his hands dangeling over the railing? That’s Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs, he’s Built Ford Tough! Mike opened the show by singing the Star Spangled Banner, a man of many talents.PBR 2015-13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the bull’s performance is sub-par, or if a foul occurs such as the rider being rubbed against the chute, the bull stumbles, or the flank strap detaches, the judges can offer the rider a chance to take a re-ride. I believe a bull is only allowed one ride in 24 hours. If I have anything twisted concerning the rules and regulations I am counting on Randy or Suzanne to set me straight. They are friends of mine that grew up in bull territory and know the rodeo inside and out.

.

PBR 2015-9

.

PBR 2015-4.

PBR 2015-5

.

As far as I know todays athletes were OK, and the helicopters stayed grounded. The protective vests that the cowboys wear absorb the shocks and dissipate the blows to the body, helping to prevent injuries to their internal organs. The vest is made of leather and a thick foam and is built to tear away in the event of a hooking. The hat however is up to the rider. Some riders wear the cowboy hat out of tradition, but many choose to wear a helmet, although today I didn’t see one. These boys are built tough, Ford Tough!

.

PBR 2015-6

.

And lastly, the flank strap. The flank strap is positioned around a bull’s flank, in front of his hips. The strap is designed to give the bull a sense of timing when he bucks. A bull without a flank strap would lose his rhythm, and his bucking would become very unorthodox. The strap does not irritate the animals genitals in any way. With breeders paying as much as $5,000.00 a straw (vial) for genetic material, it would make no sense to risk the reproductive health of the animal.

I admit that I plagiarized most of this post from the the PBR ‘playbill’. I thought it better to be correct with the facts and admit my theft, than to be spreading around the ‘bull’.

.

PBR 2015-11

 

For comment on my photos, well they look familiar. The difference: I shot these at a speed of 5000 with minimal ‘noise’. The faster speed also allows more flexibility with my settings. Last year my top speed was 3200 limiting my setting choices and a greater amount of grain was evident. So today it was about the camera, a Nikon D610.

.

PBR 2015-15

.

I also love documenting behind the scenes, but because I wasn’t able to move about freely the photo’s resembled last years, same vantage points, same angles. In order to get different shots I’d have to get closer and wander into forbidden territory. Can’t fault a girl for trying! but when they caught up with me I was kindly asked to find my seat … so I did.

 

“If you’re worried, and you can’t sleep …

Holy Childhood 2014… just count your blessings instead of sheep
and you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.”

Bing and Rosemary

 

A safe and Happy New Year, and may all your dreams come true.

 

God Bless everyone in 2015!

Leading Lines ….

Leading lines in photography are not to be confused with ‘leading lines’.

“Michelle, did you have Lucky Charms for breakfast?” 

 ( Why yes, yes I did ! Why do you ask? ) 

“Because you look magically delicious !”

.

leading lines-5

.

Those types of ‘leading lines’ are cute and corny, and they cut to the chase in a very sweet way. The leading lines I am referring to are lines within an image that leads the eye to another point in the image, or occasionally, out of the image. Anything with a definite line can be a leading line. Fences, bridges, and even clouds can lead the eye. This is not a new concept to me, but it is new to me because I am now consciously looking for it. I noticed that some of my street photo’s captured a pretty strong direction. Those are the images that spurred my interest to look again.

.

leading line 5

.

leading lines 2-4

.

Let me back up a bit. I have an ‘eye’ that helps me to hang pictures on the wall, and to proportionally balance a room. That is just innate to me, but now I want to understand what it is that I see, so I am looking with intent for  ‘leading lines’.

I went to my files to look at a few of my past photo’s, I was curious to see if any of my older images were guiding my eyes. Here are a few that I came up with:

.

leading lines-17

.

leading lines-3

.

leading lines-2.

“Leading lines are used to draw the viewers eye through a photograph. They are intentional, or unintentional, natural lines created in the space of the photograph and are used to create a visual narrative in the composition. Leading lines are also used to draw your eye to a focal point in the shot that you would like to highlight.” wiki

.

leading lines-18

.

In early October I was photographing with my son when I saw a man walking through the woods, so I clicked away. I hadn’t noticed that he was between two very directional leading lines. Hmmm, sometimes you just get lucky!

.

leading line 7

.

leading lines 2-3

.

“Leading lines are one of the most effective and under-utilised compositional tools available to photographers. Our eyes are naturally drawn along lines and paths in photos, as they tend to make us feel as if we’re standing within the photo itself. These leading lines are a great way to experiment with the space and create relationships between the frames of the shot, the subject matter, and the space.” (google)

leading line 4

I guess I had one up on myself, not realizing what I saw, yet something seemed right. And, as you know, the only way to get better is to keep shooting, so I’m gonna keep shooting …

.

 

 

I’m Walking the Streets ….

……. hittin’ the road, and pounding the pavement.

 

street photography V

What for? For me. I wanted to shake it up a bit, I needed inspiration. So what did I do? I joined a Street Photographers Club, a meet-up that took place once a week in the Windy City. The group consisted of 6 eager photographers, ready, willing, and able… and one ‘real’ photographer that shared guidance and direction.

(real= makes a living with photography)

street photographyBut what is Street Photography?

Street photography is photography that features the human condition within public places and does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment”. 

That’s the way Webster defines it.

.

street photography-7

.

As my instructor defined it:

Street Photography should elicit some sort of reaction in your gut and/or heart, and it’s not just about the homeless. He referred to photographing the destitute as picking low hanging fruit, it’s there, but there is so much more if you just look. So I looked …..

.

street photography IV-3

.

street photography-6

.

street photography III-6

.

 

street photography 1

.

Do any of these images elicit a gut feeling ?  Yes, to me they do, however that’s a must, it’s a pre-requisite. I also enjoyed fussing with these photo’s and trying out new post processing techniques. Some of these I processed in an ‘almost’ high-key style, where light or bright tones dominate the photo, I also ‘softened’ a few to create a mood.

.

street photography VI

.

These images were taken over a two month period. My instructor promised his wife he would not shoot the streets alone, and I won’t either. I know I’m too timid to cause a stir, at least for now, but I’d definitely feel better with a companion or two …. 

 

The Martini

Martinis-4Over the years, the Martini has become one of the best-known mixed alcoholic beverages. H.L. Mencken, a scholar of American English, called the Martini “the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet”

 

There is no cocktail more distinctly American than the Martini. It’s strong, sophisticated and sexy. When ordering it’s everything we hope to project, and more …. Martinis again-2

A traditional Martini is a cocktail made with gin and dry vermouth served very cold, and garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. In the Martini’s earliest formation, the ratio of gin to vermouth was 1:1, but the amount of gin has steadily increased, in fact, hold the vermouth. When the vodka replaces the gin, it’s known as a “Kangaroo,” and a “Gibson” replaces the olive for a cocktail onion.

Martini Gimlet

James Bond favors the “Vesper,”  the “true” 007 Martini, and the one that he claims to have invented in Casino Royale:

.

Vesper Martini

.

‘A dry Martini,’ he said. ‘One. In a deep champagne goblet.’
‘Oui, Monsieur.’
‘Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large slice of lemon-peel. Got it?’

 Got it !  “Shaken, not stirred”.

.

Pink Flamingo MartiniThe Martini has been associated with both the rich and famous for years, from FDR to Frank Sinatra. The famous line, “I must get out of these wet clothes and into a dry Martini”, has said to have been the invention of Peter Benchley, who was an extra on the set of the 1935 MGM film China Seas.  W.C. Fields started his day with two Double Martinis, and reportedly carried an oversized Martini shaker with him on the set.  Another who preferred to shake … rattle, and roll.

Martini II-3

.

“The popularity of the Martini never seems to wane, and it was particularly prevalent during the 1950s and 1960s, when the “three Martini lunch” was a widespread practice for cosmopolitan executives and business men. Our societal stance on daytime drinking (not to mention standards of productivity and workplace culture) have changed somewhat since the Mad Men era, and these days the Martini is more commonly consumed in the evening hours … at least on weekdays.” wiki 

 Martinis again

Lately, the practice of attaching the suffix “tini” to a number of cocktails is all too prevalent, particularly among fruity, sweet drinks like “appletinis,” and the “mochatini.”

Many of these drinks have little to do with the original cocktail, but are named because of their use of the V-shaped glass, often thought of as ‘The Martini Glass’.

Martini Glass

Uh uh. I know what you’re thinking. “Did she drink all six Martinis or only five? ” Well to tell you the truth in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being this is a Martini shoot, the most powerful cocktail in the world, you’ve gotta ask yourself one question: “Do you want one? well do ya, punk?”

final Martini

 

4000 Unspoken Words

zoo 2-2.

What do I know?  I know I am one who needs a focal point to compose a picture, that’s what makes me click. Color, detail, and texture …

.

zoo

.

.

zoo-3

.

.

zoo-2

.

 and God Bless America …

It’s not about the Camera …

…. or is it?

Cork Rainbow

 .

I am in the thick of another temporary setback. Let me explain. It has been 2 and a half years since I started to focus on photography. I have been learning different lenses, any and all lighting, tricks of the trade, software that has me spinning, and of course my camera, a Nikon D90, not to mention how to blog ..

.

cities of Ireland-2My subject of interest was, and still is food, however, lately I have been exploring different types and styles of photography. The type and style I know best, but not necessarily the best at, is the photography of food. This is due to 2 years of diligence.

.

Ireland cities 2-7

I am now going to contradict myself: After reading many books on photography the consensus seems to be that it is NOT about the camera, it’s about the glass. Believing most of what I’ve read, and almost all of what I see, I had wisely invested in quality lenses. Way to go girl!

.

cities of Ireland-9

Now the contradiction: After many debates with my alter ego, we agreed that it was time to bite the bullet and buy a full frame camera. It’s my next move, ready or not I want it. So today I am the proud owner of a Nikon D610. There were many reason for this decision. It was a drawn out, yet thoughtful process, and I am thrilled the debates are over. No more tossing and turning, I’m sleeping well.

.

cities of Ireland

 .

What’s the matter?   Where’s the setback?

.

Nite in Cork-2

 .

Well, ignorance is bliss, but not for long. New equipment has to be paired with newer technology….  Really?  yes really… 

When composing a scene I anticipate my finished product and set the camera settings to the best of my knowledge, but I have yet to see the difference this ‘full frame’ camera will make. The pictures I shot last week are held captive in my camera, waiting for the arrival of my upgraded software to set them free. So, is it about the camera?  I don’t know  …..   yet!

 Nite in Cork

 

The dilemma you ask?  Well, I’m back in the neighborhood where trial and error share the block with hit and miss.  The up-side? This time the learning curve should with me, and I’ll be packin’ my bags sooner than later.

 

cities of Ireland-10

 .

In the meantime I have filled this post with photo’s of Cork, Ireland. The ones that are cartooned, or tweaked, were not pleasing to the naked eye, so I had my way with them ! I also need to correct an error from my last post. The photos of ‘Bantry’ at dusk, and dawn, are of the town ‘Kinsale’…. Big mistake, BIG!

.

Ireland cities 2

Please stay tuned for more updates, and hopefully progress that will be noticed …  many thanks!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 316 other followers