"Our world is so full of beautiful things: Fruit and ideas and woman and banjo music and onions with purple skins." Edward Abbey
My last day at the Tony Sweet workshop was spent catching up with various spots I wanted to revisit for some private camera experience, but during the afternoon the skies were clear and I happened to pass a small stadium where the local FFA chapter (Future Farmers Of America) was having a rodeo and decided I'd take part in some recreational photography until late afternoon. One of the first events on the program was "cutting" which is where a contestant has to separate a certain number of cattle from a larger group and then "cut" a single member from the smaller group and keep that individual separated for a certain length of time. (I'm sure that someone with some experience could explain this a lot better!) It took me awhile to figure out what was going on and where to be pointing my camera, anticipating the next move of horse, rider and "critter". From what I can tell it takes a special cutting horse and some quick hands to stay ahead of the escape attempts of the animal in question.
As it turned out, this unexpected departure from nature photography yielded at least one happy result, which is the enclosed blog image. The concentration of the rider, named Hayley, the position of her left hand and the grouping of cattle worked for a great combination, but I did have some issues with the background. Originally the background did have some trees, as shown, but also a very objectionable trailer (or something like that) that, while not in sharp focus, was a real distraction. The only choice I had was to clone out the trailer and then use the "quick selection" tool in the Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 software on the background so I could separately blur the area so that it didn't compete with the main subject. After stumbling through some of the process I finally got everything to come together.
The whole rodeo experience was a reminder of the days when my children were involved in 4H and showed our dairy heifers (females) at the local county fair. The process of showing involves not only teaching a calf to a get used to a lead rope, but also other show related intricacies such as washing,grooming and trimming of the calf prior to show time. I know there were times when our kids had other things on their minds, but these types of life events teach them care of another being and learning activities that made them focus on developing a certain expertise to prepare a heifer for show. It was more about selflessness than a show ring, and those that mastered this worthy characteristic were not only winners in the show ring, but also in later life where dealing with needs of others is a real quality trait.
To learn more about the FFA copy and paste the enclosed link to read what Mike Rowe has to say; http://www.mikeroweworks.com/2010/05/the-future-of-farming/
Thanks for visiting and remember our veterans on Memorial Day.
For more views of my work visit;
"A Piece Of Work", Spirit Lake, Iowa http://www.apieceofworkinc.com
"Art On 16th" http://www.hankhallarton16th.com
Artisans Road Trip www.artisansroadtrip.com