View 340: Day at the New York State Fair

The 2014 edition of the New York State Fair is now underway.  Fairs are chock full of photo opportunities and this one is a gold mine.  Here are a few of my photo treasures from just one day there.

This year a mechanical bull named Wild Willy was set up outside, appropriately enough, the Cattle Building.  People could pay $10 for a chance to win $200 IF they could stay on Wild Willy for 8 seconds.  While I watched, no one got past 6 seconds and most, like this cowboy, flew off in less than 4 seconds.

A man about to be dumped off of Wild Willy, a mechanical bull, at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 23, 2014.

A man about to be dumped off of Wild Willy, a mechanical bull, at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 23, 2014.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/10, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

This is the second year the New York Animal Agriculture Coalition are sponsoring the Dairy Cow Birthing Center (click the link for a live webcam) which was very popular last year.  It is even larger this year so more people can see the miracle of a calf being born. None of the cows where close to giving birth when I visited but I did meet Sven who was born earlier in the day.

Dairy calf named Sven was born three hours before I took his photo in the Dairy Cow Birthing Center at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 23, 2014.

Dairy calf named Sven was born three hours before I took his photo in the Dairy Cow Birthing Center at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 23, 2014.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

There is always a lot of activity inside the Pyrke House 4-H building at the Fair. Besides each county having a booth there with all kinds of displays, there are live competitions.  I happened across one featuring teams of two in a robot competition. The teams had a set amount of time to put together a robot to do various tasks.  While the robots were fun to watch, I found the reactions from the teams more interesting.  Can you guess what might be happening to this team’s robot here?

Boys react to their robot during a competition inside the Pyrke House 4-H building at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 23, 2014.

Boys react to their robot during a competition inside the Pyrke House 4-H building at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 23, 2014.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV 0, 250mm focal length.

With all the exotic animals we can see in zoos, the most popular ones at the Fair are the goats, sheep and llamas.  This sheep was about to be sheered for show and its wool will be used in making shawls in the nearby Wool Center building.

Sheep harnessed up in preparation of getting sheered at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York  on Saturday, August 23, 2014.

Sheep harnessed up in preparation of getting sheered at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 23, 2014.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 1250, EV 0, 180mm focal length.

Even more popular is the International Horse Show running each day at the Fair in the Coliseum.  Breeds from the tiny Miniature Horses to huge Draft Horses compete for trophies and cash prizes.  Here is of of the competitors in this year’s Arabian Traditional Costume class.

Arabian rider and horse competing in traditional costume class at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York  on Saturday, August 23, 2014.

Arabian rider and horse competing in traditional costume class at The Great New York State Fair in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 23, 2014.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 8000, EV +1.0, 180mm focal length.

I have plans to visit the Fair a couple of more times and will be sharing more photo treasures.

 

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The Trouble with Props

I am not referring to props as in objects used to compliment a photograph but props as in propellers on airplanes.  The Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York had a mix of jets and prop planes.  For that reason, I was using Shutter Priority mode.  When a new plane took to the air I had to remember to change my shutter speed for the type of plane.  Why would I need to do that? See below.

When shooting propeller or prop airplanes, you need to slow down the shutter or the prop is frozen (left).  When the shutter is slowed down, the prop show motion and looks like a moving plane.

When shooting propeller or prop airplanes, you need to slow down the shutter or the prop is frozen (left). When the shutter is slowed down, the prop shows motion (right) and looks like a moving plane.

If you photograph a prop plane with a fast shutter like 1/1000th of a second, it freezes the prop and the plane looks frozen in the air.  Not a good look for a flying plane. By slowing the shutter down to 1/200th of a second or slower, the prop becomes a blur and the plane looks like it is flying.

Here is a WWII P-51 Mustang fighter called Quick Silver streaking across a cloud filled sky. The blurred prop really makes the plane look as fast as it was going.

A P-51 Mustang called Quick Silver flying at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.

A P-51 Mustang called Quick Silver flying at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/200s, f/20, ISO 200, EV 0, 400mm focal length, cropped.

I tried slower shutter speeds but the older Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED AF VR Zoom lens and I were not up to the task. Still, I like how the B-25J WWII bomber named Panchito, after the feisty rooster from Disney’s animated musical The Three Caballeros, and a member of the 396th Bomb Squadron, 41st Bomb Group, 7th Air Force, stationed in the Central Pacific came out.

B-25J “Panchito,” named after the feisty rooster from Disney’s animated musical The Three Caballeros, was a bomber with the 396th Bomb Squadron, 41st Bomb Group, 7th Air Force, stationed in the Central Pacific flying at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.

B-25J “Panchito,” named after the feisty rooster from Disney’s animated musical The Three Caballeros, was a bomber with the 396th Bomb Squadron, 41st Bomb Group, 7th Air Force, stationed in the Central Pacific flying at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/200s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 400mm focal length, cropped.

While I was panning for these photos, without any background objects close to the planes, you do not see any sense of motion behind them.  I hope to photograph more airshows in the future.

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View 339: Thunderbirds over Rochester

The US Air Force Thunderbirds performing at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.

The US Air Force Thunderbirds performing at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/1000s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV 0, 110mm focal length.

The last time I photographed the United States Air Force Thunderbirds air demonstration team they were flying over Main Street USA at Walt Disney World.  Yesterday, the Tunderbirds performed at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York. Unlike the fly over at Disney, this show lasted over thirty minutes featuring multiple passes in groups of six, four, two and solos.

Two solo USAF Thunderbird pilots perform a flying maneuver during the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.

Two solo USAF Thunderbird pilots perform a flying maneuver during the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/1000s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

Instead of one pass, I was able to photograph the Thunderbirds F-16 aircraft as they performed several passes demonstrating the precision flying the team is famous for.

Group of four F-16 Thurnderbird jets fly in formation during the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014

Group of four F-16 Thurnderbird jets fly in formation during the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV 0, 280mm focal length.

Here are a couple of photos showing solo aircraft.

An F-16 Thunderbird jet making a High-G turn during the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.

An F-16 Thunderbird jet making a High-G turn during the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/1000s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 400mm focal length.

Like how the plane’s wings seem to cut through the air in this one.

A Thunderbird F-16 jet shows its namesake graphic on the bottom of the aircraft at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.

A Thunderbird F-16 jet shows its namesake graphic on the bottom of the aircraft at the Kwik Fill Rochester International Airshow in Rochester, New York on Sunday, August 17, 2014.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/1000s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV 0, 400mm focal length.

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View 338: HDR Beach

When High Dynamic Range (HDR) images first came on the scene, many people thought they looked unreal though beautiful.  For years, HDR photographers and software companies worked to make the images look realistic with much success.

When I went to the eastern shore of Lake Ontario last week, the scene was very flat looking.  Dark skies over dark water with a small color pallet in the blue end of the spectrum.  I processed a set of photos covering the light range from -2EV to +2EV into the HDR image you see below.

HDR image of a cloudy sunset from Brennan Beach RV Park & Campground on Lake Ontario near Pulaski, New York.

HDR image of a cloudy sunset from Brennan Beach RV Park & Campground on Lake Ontario near Pulaski, New York.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, f/22, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, tripod.

This image is far from what the actual scene looked like.  To my creative mind, it is how I felt when standing on lonely beach looking out over Lake Ontario at sunset.

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View 337: Gift of the Game

The Onondagas, a member of the Iroquois Nation, call the game of Lacrosse the Creator’s Game.  Lacrosse is a very spiritual and healing game to the Haudenosaunee people.  The traditions of the game is passed from one generation to the next. I witnessed such an event at a recent Onondaga Redhawks game.  As hard fought as the games are, there is always respect for the game, the people who play it and to the members of the Nation from elders to the very young.

Onondaga Redhawks Andy Jamerison (17) greets a young fan before playing the Newtown Golden Eagles in the Can-Am Senior

Onondaga Redhawks Andy Jamerison (17) greets a young fan before playing the Newtown Golden Eagles in the Can-Am Senior “B” Box Lacrosse finals at the Onondaga Nation Arena near Nedrow, New York on Saturday, August 2, 2014.
Nikon D700/70-200VR, 1/500s, f/2.8, ISO 10000, EV +1.3, 200mm focal length.

The Onondaga Redhawks are on the verge of another Can-Am Senior “B” Lacrosse championship having won the first three games in the Best of Seven series with the Newtown Golden Eagles.  Game Four is tomorrow night at the Onondaga Nation Arena or Tsha’Hon’nonyen’dakhwa’ near Nedrow, New York.

Below is a sampling of the kind of play found at an Onondaga Redhawks Box Lacrosse game:

Box Lacrosse is a hard hitting, fast paced and highly skilled team game with as much action as an ice hockey game.

Box Lacrosse is a hard hitting, fast paced and highly skilled team game with as much action as an ice hockey game.

The game starts tomorrow night at 7:00PM.  Admission is $5 for Adults and $3 for Elders and Children.  You might even see the Championship Trophy presented like I did back in 2012.

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