Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cowtown Rodeo Here I Come

Making a Break, and Ride'Em Cowboy originally uploaded by Cocoabiscuit.

Here's pics from the Cowtown Rodeo in Pilesgrove, NJ. The rodeo was quite an experience for lots of reasons and certainly you should visit a rodeo at least once in your lifetime-- a bucket list item?. The photography was tricky because I was pretty far back and had to shoot over a fence with only the available lighting of the stadium lights. This photo was shot at 1/320, f4.5, 200 mm at ISO 3200. The high ISO is what gives it the grainy look which I'm pretending is an "old west" effect.

Interesting Sponsors

Seen at the Cowtown Rodeo in Jersey, these sponsors made me wonder a little. I guess if your name is George Sparks (click here for the photo on Flickr to see the full width of the photo) you would of course become an electrician and the rhino linings are for trucks and have nothing to do with the zoo. The M&S Pet Removal business, offering "Private Cremations" surprised me, seems like a bit of a niche business to be advertising in an arena.

Both of these shots were taken in the evening with the sun setting, but shining right onto this part of the arena giving it such good illumination, f 4.5, 1/320 ISO 350 at 100 mm

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In the Clouds on the Great Wall 慕田峪

In the Clouds, originally uploaded by Cocoabiscuit.

Here we are on the Great Wall in the Mutinayu section, about 50 miles north of Beijing but obviously not out of the pollution that surrounds the area. There's only been one day of blue sky in our week here. We only hiked a short segment because of the elevation, bad air quality, and 90 degree heat/ 90% humidity, but it was amazing to see.

Monday, August 3, 2009

China's Past and Present 天安门广场

This photo at the entrance of the "Gate of Heavenly Peace" (translated means Tiananmen" is at the northern end of Tiananmen Square and leads into the Forbidden City. Everywhere we go, there appears to be conflict between the old China, both imperial and communist times, and the more westernized modern "hip" China of electronics stores and nightclubs that appears to be their future. Yesterday, we were still among the very few Westerners we saw and a number of people stopped us to ask to have their pictures taken with us.

Just Playing Around-- With Swords 太极拳

Tai Chi Challenge 太极拳, originally uploaded by Cocoabiscuit.

Senior citizens here are mostly quite active. Tai chi in the park, walking, etc. This photo was taken yesterday while there was still sky to see before the smog rolled back in.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Global VIsion

Global VIsion, originally uploaded by Cocoabiscuit.

Here is one (and probably the cutest) of the 13 million residents of Beijing. We're quite an oddity here and get a lot of stares, especially in the part of town where the conference was and there weren't many tourists. Adults and children alike stare because we're not part of a tour group and so are unexpected. We've been stopped by a couple of "unofficial" sorts to inquire what we're up to.

Welcome to Beijing

Red Bridge, originally uploaded by Cocoabiscuit.

Finally, the conference is over and the sun is out. It's a beautiful sunny day in Beijing. This photo is from a park on the way from the hotel to the Forbidden City. We walked to the gates of the Forbidden City and then were intimidated by the masses of weekend crowd, so will defer until tomorrow.