Posts tagged “people photography

The last night at the 2015 Calgary Stampede

July 12th was the final day of the 2015 Calgary Stampede and I had an invitation from good friends to join them for the Chuckwagon Finals and the Grandstand Show Finale that evening.  I jumped at the chance and enjoyed a great night down on the grounds.

2015 Stampede Chuckwagon Finals - © Christopher Martin-0351-2

The Chucks were exciting as usual with the best races coming in the last couple of heats.  This year’s champion was Kurt Bensmiller who successfully defended his title from last year in a great race, particularly down the stretch.  Bensmiller was riding on the Tsuu T’ina wagon, whose land we live on, so I was happy for them as well!  Above is my shot of him closing in on the finish line.

2015 Stampede Chuckwagon Finals - © Christopher Martin-520311

Another great race was heat 5 where Mark Sutherland pulled away from a tight grouping with all four teams and won by just under a second.

Swinging above the Stampede midway - © Christopher Martin-0152

Earlier in the evening, we walked down the midway, checking out the rides, the people and the crazy games.  I like riding these big swings with my kids and with the sun behind it made for a cool picture.

2015 Calgary Stampede Grandstand Showcase - © Christopher Martin-0398

After the races, the Grandstand Show was up and this year’s edition was called the Canadian Classic.  I thought it was great fun.  I was sitting above a group visiting from Ohio and, judging by their enthusiasm during and after the performance, it was well received by friends from afar as well.

2015 Calgary Stampede Grandstand Showcase - © Christopher Martin-0436

2015 Calgary Stampede Grandstand Showcase - © Christopher Martin-0526

The fireworks are a signature piece that ends each show.  The set on the last day were far and away the largest of the Stampede I was told by a friend who had seen several of them this year.  They were huge, loud and beautiful.  From our seats on the second deck, we weren’t too far below the average explosion height so they felt all-encompassing which is great when it comes to fireworks in my mind.

2015 Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show fireworks - © Christopher Martin-0492


Flying at the Canada Olympic Park

 

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Our kids are in a WinSport Snow School program learning to ski and snowboard at the Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.  The hill is a great place to learn and the instructors are adept working with children.  Both of them are having a blast out there.

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I watched them for an hour on Sunday and then wandered over to the terrain park to watch some very talented boarders and skiers fly.

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There are great rollers, kick jumps and skate park features which these snow creatures were ripping off of.  I had a great time watching them.  I grew up skiing in the mountains but never aired things out like this – so cool!

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And there was even a Superman laying it out…

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When it snowed, we went sledding

 

Kian's airtime - © Christopher Martin-9801

When they returned from school in the middle of our strangely early snowstorm, my son and one of his friends headed straight to the shed and grabbed their sledding gear.  There was no disappointment with a suspension of late summer, they were ready to toboggan.  I was happy to join them and we had a great time playing around.

Sledding - © Christopher Martin-9726

Dismount - © Christopher Martin-9818

The bent and broken trees, power outages, traffic accidents and many other challenges that this storm has unleashed on Southern Alberta has been hard to believe.  I’m glad that we were able to find enjoyment in the snow but our thoughts are with those not near so fortunate.

Kian at the ready - © Christopher Martin-9787

 


Covering Shwe Dagon in gold

Gilding Shwe Dagon - © Christopher Martin-2895

The Shwedagon Zedi Daw is a nexus point for Myanmar’s Buddhists.  It’s history goes back more than 2600 years and it is an amazing place of humanity, faith and spirituality.  The main stupa is sheathed in gold foil as are many of the parapets and other buildings on the grounds.  I went there twice when I visited Myanmar in 2010 and think I could return many more times and always find new things catching my eye.  On my second visit, I watched these workers gilding a new, or maybe restored, tower.  It was a hot day and while one gentleman found a ball cap to be sufficient protection, the other preferred a more encompassing head cover.  This was detailed work and they were attentive to the task at hand.  I had to wait a little while until one of them looked up from the tower and glanced out over the crowds walking around Shew Dagon.


De-icing at YYC

De-icing at YYC - 2014 © Christopher MartinCanon 5D Mark III + 500mm f/4 lens: 1/6400 seconds at f/4 on ISO 320

A member of the ground crew at the Calgary International Airport does the critical work of de-icing the airplane during a cold sunrise well below freezing in Alberta, Canada.


My updated gallery of people photography

Following on from the abstract portfolio that I updated a couple of weeks ago, the second portfolio whose refresh is complete, is for my people photography.

Marble carver in Mandalay - 2010 © Christopher Martin

The set includes a cross-section of images from a visit to Myanmar, my coverage of the Tsuu T’ina Nation’s annual Pow Wow and a couple of my children.

If you are interested in looking at these photographs, please click either image, or this link, to open a separate page with the portfolio.

Kezia's recital concentration - 2013 © Christopher Martin


The Tsuu T’ina Rodeo Finals

Where are the brakes on this thing? - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/2500th of a second at f/4 on ISO 800

The Tsuu T’ina Nation’s 39th Annual Open All Indian Rodeo ran from July 26-28 this year.  I went over several times and had a great time on the Redwood Fair Grounds watching the rodeo and the Pow Wow which combine to form the backbone of the Tsuu T’ina’s Annual Indian Days Celebration.  The rodeo finals on Sunday got started under dark skies but the rain never fell and the sun drifted in and out of the clouds throughout the afternoon.

Turning on the barrel - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/6400th of a second at f/4 on ISO 800

It was a perfect afternoon for rodeo and judging by the full grandstand, there were many people who agreed.  We were rewarded with a lot of top shelf performances by the cowgirls, cowboys and animals who were competing.  Here is a collection of a few of my images from this year’s finals.

Busted by mutton - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/2500th of a second at f/4 on ISO 1600

Roping with the crowd - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/1000th of a second at f/8 on ISO 800

A hard charging partnership - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DII camera with a Canon 70-200mm lens + a 1.4X extender at 235mm: 1/1250th of a second at f/6.3 on ISO 400

The steer wrestler's leap of faith - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/1250th of a second at f/4 on ISO 800

Down in the dirt - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/2000th of a second at f/4 on ISO 800

Dialed in - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/1000th of a second at f/11 on ISO 1600

Great throw! - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/1000th of a second at f/11 on ISO 1600

From one ride to another - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/2000th of a second at f/5.6 on ISO 1600

Driving off the two barrel - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/2500th of a second at f/4 on ISO 400

Virgil Jacobs - 2013 steer wrestling champion - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/2500th of a second at f/4 on ISO 1600

The steer wrestler above is Virgil Jacobs.  He came out guns blazing and beat all the other cowboys to win the event this year.  My hat is off to you sir!

Perfect! - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/640th of a second at f/11 on ISO 1600

Who's not watching the barrel? - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/2000th of a second at f/4 on ISO 400


Mastering Mutton Busting

Hanging on - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Mutton busting is an event often held during the half-time of rodeos.  The Tsuu T’ina Nation’s rodeo finals on Sunday had a very enthusiastic group of cowkids participating in this super fun event.  This young girl, flanked by her father and one of the rodeo clowns, had an iron grip on the rope around the sheep’s back.  The little steed jerked her off-centre  as the gate opened but she hung on for a great ride.  A very tough little girl!


Canada Day at Redwood Meadows

Canada Day Fireworks at Redwood Meadows - 2013 © Christopher Martin

The Canada Day fireworks at Redwood Meadows were great.  This was the first year our children were able to stay awake late enough to see them.  Their big smiles and excited commentary continued throughout the performance.  The fireworks marked the end of the Canada Day celebrations – let me back up and share a little bit of the fun we all had throughout the day.

Ready to ride - 2013 © Christopher Martin

We all joined in bike parade led by the firefighter trucks and rescue vehicles that always starts Canada Day in Redwood.  Kian and Kezia both had a lot of fun making the loop of the town with all of their friends.  It was good that the parade started at 10 am – it was warm then and by noon it was hot and sunny.

Rolling in the bike parade - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Redwood Meadows Bike Parade - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Parading through town - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Following the parade, the stage in the middle of the sports field was the centre of attention for the opening ceremony which led into live performances that continued for the afternoon.  Dancers from the Tsuu T’ina Nation opened the performances on the stage.  It is always an honour to watch them and with Hal Eagletail narrating everyone was made welcome and enjoyed their dancing.

Hal Eagletail and Tsuu T'ina dancers - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Hal narrated, joked, drummed and sang – he set a great tone for the rest of the live music, magicians (both were great although Kian gave his vote to the gentleman who used swords!) and speakers.

Tsuu T'ina Dancer - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Around the stage, the community association had set up a bunch of activities for the kids including face painting, street drawing, games and bouncy castles.  For adults, including weary or wilted parents, a beer garden was open.

A rainbow in the making - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Kezia decided on a rainbow connecting a heart with a happy face.

A Canadian boy - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Kian transformed from a Canadian boy to a Canadian ninja.

A Canadian ninja - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Street art - 2013 © Christopher Martin

There were two themed cakes as well as cupcakes.  Kezia was quite happy to show her support…

Rainbow Kezia and her cupcake - 2013 © Christopher Martin

The heat built up by mid-afternoon and even the kids looked to be feeling a little worn down.  That all changed when the firefighters spread out a large sheet of plastic and hooked up one of their hoses to the fire truck.  The water was turned on, the kids lined up and then chaos was unleashed (very fun chaos).

Sliding along - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Ninja in the water park - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Bart Frasca is a firefighter and resident in Redwood Meadows.  He was one of the key people involved in saving the town during this year’s flood.  He didn’t need the help running the hose but he let Kezia provide her assistance for a minute or two nonetheless.

Kezia with the assist - 2013 © Christopher Martin

With paint now dripping off their faces and weariness starting to settle into their bones, we took our children home to relax and wait for the fireworks.  When we returned to the field just before 11, the sky still had traces of the day on the western horizon.  We settled onto a blanket and covered up from the mosquitos.  The wait wasn’t long and soon explosions of color spread out above.  It was a great ending to a great day.  Thank you to all of the people who set up, performed, painted, sprayed, played and made it so much fun for all.

Canada Day fireworks - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Happy 146th birthday Canada!

Happy birthday Canada - 2013 © Christopher Martin


The only rain I want to see for a while…

Washing windows - © Christopher Martin-8243

… is from water dripping down while window washers ply their trade high above.

Calgary and surrounding areas are getting back on their feet.  I hope we are all able to enjoy some summer times and put the flooding firmly in our rearview mirrors.


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