We gathered at the BHSU Staff Parking Lot prior to 6 am once again to begin the second day of the Black Hills Photography Shootout. This time, Carrie and I figured out that she could stay in bed and I could take the car. The theme for the morning shoot was Working Ranch Cowboys. I wasn’t sure what to expect. In my mind I was thinking, roping calves, branding, fixing fences, etc. Well, once we were all gathered in the parking lot, we all formed a caravan and started driving out to the ranch.
We arrived, driving up a long gravel driveway, I wondered what someone watching from the house must have thought with 15 vehicles coming down the driveway with headlights glaring. Once everyone parked and gathered, our instructor went to see if the ranchers were ready. They were, and so we were sent off on a trail behind the buildings and up to the top of a hill. The hill didn’t seem like much, but by the time I reached the top, I was reminded that I need to get back on the elliptical! Once everyone was assembled we talked about the Silouette shots that we were going to be doing. Our instructor, Les Borland, explained what we would be doing in this phase of the session. The riders were going to ride back and forth across the top of the hill. We were positioned partway down the back side of the hill. We would have the light of the rising sun in the background. There were two Cowgirls and one Cowboy, and they proceeded to take turns walking their horse across the scene. Some times I would get some shots of all three of them as they waited on an end to go back across again. First they walked, then trotted, and finally broke into a pretty brisk run. It took me a few frames to get the exposure right to create the desired effect, but once I basically had what I wanted in settings, I just shot away. At first I was shooting in RAW format, wanting to catch every piece if info I could. I quickly realized though how fast my memory card was running out of space! If you shoot in this mode, and are getting some really great shots…make sure you have extra cards along, or that you maybe dial it down a notch by taking it off RAW.
I shot in one general spot for quite some time and then changed positions to get a different angle. I was constantly adjusting my settings as the light was constantly changing in the background. This session was so much fun and I captured some really fun images….different than any I’d done before. I felt very accomplished in completing my goal of trying something different and pushing myself to learn new things.