Sunday, July 31, 2011

First Wedding

This was the first wedding that I'd either assisted at, or shot at. I did both yesterday, at Thijs and Jessica's wedding in Edgewater.

It was a great day, and I can only thank my friend and fellow photog, Shawna Elliott, for inviting me along for the experience, and the couple for allowing me to share their special day!

I particularly enjoyed shooting the getting ready scenes, the dress and other details, and the ceremony.

Despite it being the hottest day of the summer so far, and it being a garden wedding, the intimate affair was thoroughly enjoyed by the wedding party and guests alike!

I haven't looked at many of my photo's yet, but here's my fav so far:

I had a tough time, last night, glancing through the photo's I'd taken. I hated everything I saw. This is apparently a standard reaction when one looks at one's work too soon after an event - and when one's too tired! This morning things look better ... but I can't browse long because I'm off back to Panorama Resort for more mountain biking action this morning!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Canadian Downhill Mountain Bike Championships 2011

Yesterday I spent the day on the slopes of Panorama Resort, at the Cliffs of Insanity, to be precise, where I shot the action at the Canadian DH Mountain Bike Championships!

And "insane" it was, very intense and exciting (to say nothing of terrifying, going by some riders' expressions!), with some spectacular spills, and not without a few close shaves for this intrepid photographer!

Today, I'm processing and loading photo's onto my website as soon as they are ready. Here's one of my fav's so far:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Heart of the Rockies Triathlon 2011

Last weekend Sunday, the Heart of the Rockies Triathlon was staged from James Chabot Beach Park in Invermere.

This is the adult version of the three-phase race for children on the Saturday.

I found the adult race much easier to shoot, although have to admit that I'm still working the kinks out of my AI Servo technique.

The adult swim/bike/run seemed very challenging, and featured both an Olympic distance race, and a sprint (abbreviated) race. They both looked tough to me!

As you'll see from the full gallery, despite the challenges for the competitors, there were quite a few who were still able to muster up smiles, cheerful waves and even a few cheeky words for the photographer!

This weekend I'll be trying back-button auto-focusing which, I'm told by the pro's, works better for sports events. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Young Hearts Triathlon 2011

Last weekend there was a two-day event at James Chabot Park in Invermere, the Heart of the Rockies Triathlon.

The children's event was on Saturday, between 9am and 1pm, and young 'uns ranging in age from 5 years to 13, did their age-appropriate swim, bike and run stages.

It was great fun, although it was like a rugby scrum out there with all the parents doing their thing! Taking decent photo's was a challenge! I got a lot of shots of parents' bellies and bums because they were constantly stepping into the competition area, grabbing this kid here, dragging that one there, yanking off swim caps and shoving shoes on ...

Some of the little ones seemed to be wondering what was happening to them!

That said, there were a few out there who looked like they were actually having fun, and could muster up a smile!

And then there were the future Olympians, so intense!

Feel free to browse through my collection from the day on my Smugmug page ... and if you know anyone who had a child competing, do pass the link along!

Now to start work on the images from the adult triathlon - hope to get those pictures posted by the end of the week!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What Now?!

Yesterday, I made my final entry into my 365 Project!

It's been an interesting road, often extremely challenging, but I wouldn't change it for the world!

Did I learn anything from it? Yes!

- How to really open my eyes and SEE what's around me, the colour and beauty and, yes, the mundane-ness of everyday life.

- It forced me to figure out how to use my equipment - when you HAVE to solve a particular problem, you are (at least, I am!) more likely to explore gear that you're often a bit afraid of!

What's next? I've decided not to commit to any new projects until I've completed both the NYIP course, and the Photoshop CS5 course that I'm taking. NYIP should be done by the end of summer, and the PS CS5 course in a couple of weeks. So don't hold your breath for any new adventures just yet!

But I will just have to post on my blog more regularly ... here are some photo's from the walk-about in Fairmont this morning, with my "students":

I put "students" in inverted commas because out of the two sessions I've taught so far, almost every single person has admitted to taking the course to get a break from kids/grandkids! {shrug}

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mini Road Trip: Cranbrook-Invermere

This morning I had to take Paul to the airport - he was flying from Cranbrook to Vancouver to pick up a new (to us) car. Cranbrook is 90 minutes' drive south of us, so that meant that I had quite a few opportunities for photo's on the way home!

Much as I love traveling with my hubby, when I'm in the photography mood, alone is best because I can stop and start as much as I like, even turn around and go back if I want to!

On the way in to the airport, I'd noticed that there are some alpine flowers in this area that we don't seem to get near us, so the first order of the day was to capture them (got carried away by the mozzies for my trouble, too!):

The first place I came to was Fort Steele, a bit of a tourist trap but, strangely enough, the cheapest place in the corridor to get petrol so I always top up there on the way home from Cranbrook. Being summer, there are horses EVERYwhere in this area ... I had a blast!

These draft horses were so friendly ... I couldn't get far enough away from them to take a decent shot! Not many of my horse shots came out - I think I still get too excited around horses when taking photo's!

The big and the small (click on the photo to enlarge and see the little bird that seems to have struck up a food-sharing agreement with the horse!):

I saw some cherries ripening in the summer sun as I left Ft Steele ...

I spotted this chap, along with his friend, among the trees as I was driving out of the Fort Steele grounds ... the back-light was just so gorgeous that I had to turn the car around (again - I'd already backtracked after filling up with gas, to visit the Shire horses!). I'm disappointed with the series that I got, the light made it hard to get decent shutter speed (and I'm hating the noise I get at iso 400 these days!), but I managed to drag this tight crop kicking and screaming from my computer's recycling can:

Just south of Wasa there's a pull-out with a good view over the wetlands ...

... and the Kootenay River.

After crossing the river, I found a good place to stop and take photo's of the hay bales in the fields - this is the first cut of the summer!

Then there was just the road home:

Those of you who live in the area will be wondering where the photo's of the Hoodoos are. By the time I got as far as Fairmont, I just didn't have the time to stop - had to be home by 11am - and I made it with seconds to spare! Another day ...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Canada Day 2011

It was a busy weekend this year, with lots to do around the valley and good weather, too!

Canada's 144th birthday started early, at 00h01 on Friday, July 1st, in fact! I've already blogged about the fireworks display, so you can read about it here, or view high-res photo's on Smugmug.

On Saturday morning, I drove down-valley to catch what I could of the Fairmont Fantastic 3 Triathlon. I missed the swim section, but caught a bit of the bike and run ... must make a point to get the whole thing next year! Below are a couple of photo's - there weren't a great many competitors so I took other shooting opportunities as they presented themselves! For all the triathlon pic's, have a look at my Smugmug gallery.

Then in the afternoon, there was a fun event at Kinsmen Beach in Invermere: It was a fundraiser for the RCMP's Cops For Kids charity - people have to build their own boats using recyclables and only a limited amount of funds ($100, I think!) - and whoever works on the boat has to be in the boat for the short paddle on the lake!

More photo's on Smugmug, of the water-borne fun!

As if that wasn't enough for this photographer, the following day brought the Gatorade BC Cup XC mountain bike race at Panorama! The route was on the newly completed Mad Trapper trail. It was lovely up on the mountain, everything so green, and a gorgeous day! I was sorry that the event was over in just a couple of hours.

Pop over to Smugmug for the bike race gallery.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fireworks @ Invermere - Canada Day 2011

Fireworks are always fun, especially when the conditions are conducive to being outdoors!

The last time I was out taking photo's of fireworks, was over New Year's Eve when it was -20C outside or colder. This time it was 35-40C warmer, but it was windy and there was light rain, too.

We'd scouted out an excellent viewpoint in the middle of a clutch of empty lots, where we could watch the fireworks display from the hillside on the opposite side of the lake. An additional degree of difficulty was the sound of twigs snapping in the shrubbery around us, making us very nervous (the reports of bear sightings, both black bears and grizzlies, as well as aggressive deer in our area, made us particularly jumpy)!

I have to admit that I'm a bit disappointed with how my photo's turned out, but I had fun out there and I hope you'll enjoy looking at a few of my fav's, nevertheless!

The Holiday Crazies

What is it about holidays and long weekends that makes people crazy on the roads?!

This happened just before 11am today, at the intersection of Athalmer Road and Highway 93/95, a couple of hundred meters from our Invermere, BC, Canada, home:

(Yes, I know I'm supposed to be practicing my photo-journalism, but there's no way in hell I was going to wade into this lot asking for names and info on what happened!)

Yet another reason to ALWAYS take your camera with you! I'd decided, because of the rain threatening (that eventually soaked us!), that I wouldn't bother taking my camera for this dog walk ... but changed my mind when I heard the sirens, "just in case"!