Friday, 20 November 2009

Maymorn Photos Uploading

Finally caught up with my backlog - a little faster than anticipated too. With a smaller turn-out for Maymorn I had less shots to review, so have been able to get through them in good time. They're uploading as I write and should finish some time around 1:00 am on Saturday morning. I'll do the usual finishing work on the set during the day.

I have to say the conditions on the day were a little trying with heavy overcast and some strong wind gusts to contend with. In response to the lower light I've had to shoot a lot of the time at wide open apertures with shallow depth of field being the inevitable result. That just means that sometimes your horse's head may be sharp in focus, but you might be a little soft - or the other way around. You probably won't notice unless you blow the image up to full-size, but if you intend to print any pictures it might pay to inspect the images closely before making your final decision.

I'm pleased to report that my blisters are callousing up nicely. I always enjoy my walks, but sometimes I push the envelope a little farther than I should ;-) Very glad to have a couple of weekends respite before Battle Hill, another challenging venue.

If you haven't seen them already, the Maymorn results are now posted, and the latest newsletter features the flyer for Battle Hill and the Rhona Fraser Challenge events, the last ride of the pre-Xmas half of our season.

Hope to see you all there and snap you on the trail.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Wainuiomata Photos uploading

The Wainuiomata set is uploading now and should complete some time in the small hours of Tuesday. I'll put the finishing touches to it some time on Tuesday either before work or after.

Leaving ahead of the briefing meant the change to the trail took me by surprise, and so I ended up doing the inner loop ahead of most of the field. If you didn't overtake me on the trail, you missed me, and I didn't get a picture of you. As you know, I work to a timetable and try to be back at base in time to assist with Dove's strapping and final vetting.

Despite a spotty forecast, the day turned out very well. Some of the early photos were under slightly difficult lighting due to the overcast, and look a bit fuzzy under close inspection, but as the day wore on and the light improved I got some sharper shots. There are some nice sequences of some riders.

I've barely looked at the Maymorn shots as yet. I'll get on to those next, but I have some other committments that will divert my attention this week, so the next set may be a little bit later than usual. It will however be a smaller set, like the Wainui one. Although I think I got shots of everyone, the smaller field means I took less shots overall. Again, overcast and sometimes "breezy" conditions were a challenge but I'm hopeful there will be some pleasing results.

And thank goodness for a break until the next event - my feet are killing me. My mission on the day was to get a look at the tunnel - I've only ever gone as far as the ford before, and the tunnel was not much further. Unfortunately, as I was reading the details on the sign on the other side, my connections on horseback turn up - dang!

So the downside of that little excursion was having to get back to base in a hurry. After battling the head wind and slogging up the hill I had to jog the downhill bits to catch up and keep up. I ended up over-taking some competitors as a result. Anyway, my connections arrived back 2 minutes early - serves them right really ;-)

As for me, I was on time and my heart rate at the end was OK, but a vet out lame was definitely on the cards ;-)

See you all at Battle Hill.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Waikawa results published - photos uploading

Hard on the heels of the just published results from Waikawa, we have the photos now uploading to Flickr. This is going to proceed over-night Monday, hopefully without crashing, and with luck will be complete by morning. I'll probably do the finishing work on the set on Tuesday evening.

Everyone loves a beach ride - especially the photographer. I should apologise for the size of the set and explain why it's so large. At 598 images, it's my biggest set by just one. The problem of course is the beach - I can see riders coming from far off and I can position myself to get many more shots of each rider as they approach and pass. Often this is not so easy on some of our more confined trails.

That of course is also the reason for the delay - with a huge amount of raw material, it takes longer to select the shots.

One other consequence, which I hope you'll like, is the opportunity to put together longer sequences of shots, showing the horse in its paces. If I have good sequences, I like to use them in the set. And of course, the out-and-back structure of the course means most riders passed me at least twice, so we got a second chance to take some shots.

With 3 rides on successive weekends, I am of course losing ground. I'm just preparing my backups of the Wainui shots and will start selecting on Tuesday or Wednesday evening depending on other committments. Although it was a smaller ride and I got less shots, I doubt I'll have the set ready before Maymorn, so please bear with me.

And if I missed you at Wainui (I know I beat some of you around the course ;-) then make sure you're at Maymorn - another out-and-back that pretty much guarantees we'll meet!

See you there.