Monday, January 28, 2008

The Stock Show pt. 1

My Mom wrangled free tickets for the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo last Wednesday. Since I've been in Japan for much of the last few years, it had been a while since I caught a rodeo, and the lure of Free was also deliciously strong.

I was also eager for the chance to unleash my mom's old 105 mm f2.5 lens. A lens like that is perfect for the low light, high movement photography environment that a rodeo presents. The only problem with the lens is it's age prevents it from hooking into the autofocus and light meter in my newgfangled digital camera, requiring me to be very careful with my exposures, checking the lcd screen often to make sure I was getting good results.

While I certainly took a lot of images that aren't fit for prime time, some of the results are surprisingly good, the first of which are presented here. We have the opening ceremonies, fireworks, laser light shows, and the National Anthem. Following that was saddled bucking broncos and calf tying.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Garden of Lights

Kenrokuen isn't the only garden that is lit up for holidays. The Denver Botanical Gardens does an annual "Blossoms of Light" display that grows in splendor and size every year. Since it has been at least two years since I last put in an appearance, I was shocked to see how ambitious the decorations had become.

Elizabeth and I braved some chilly temperatures to take in the scenery. The sights were worth it, but I must admit that she showed much patience with me and my tripod, stopping every few steps to snap a few shots.

Ironically though, the next night when we went to the Zoo's display, people were miffed when I DIDN'T bring my gear, as I hadn't wanted to slow the group down with my incessant shutter snapping.

At least I got some nice pictures from the gardens, I suppose I'll just have to wait till next year to properly document the Zoo Lights.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Happy New Year!

To celebrate the dawning of a chilly 2008, a group of us headed downtown to try something new. Rather than staying home and going to bed at 9:30, we were off to the swanky club, dressed in swanky duds, to usher in the New Year with some style!

Of course, style costs, we had to pay for the privilege of being swanky. The cost was in both cold hard cash, and cold hard ice forming on our legs. It was bad enough in suit pants, I can't imagine how the poor women, in their dresses, must have suffered.

It was a chilly wait for the light rail, at 1 AM, but in the end, it was a great experience, albeit not one I am likely to repeat next year!

As far as resolutions go I've decided to...

Work at keeping up my Japanese level, and see if I can improve it a bit.

Take German classes and see about that.

Polish my photography, maybe take a class or just keep buying and devouring photo books.

Think about Masters programs, see if I can find something I like, here or abroad.