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The Agile Fox Friday Foto – 11.09.2012

After a year and a half of including a ‘pic of the week’ at the end of my weekly training summary, I’ve decided to let it stand as a post of its own.  I’m also implementing a rule that the Friday Foto needs to have been taken sometime in the last week.  No recycling.  I am doing this to keep me engaged in building my photography skills, and to make me work harder to get fresh shots.  Click here to see my previous Friday Foto posts.

My daughter needed some hours behind the wheel to fulfill her permit requirements, and I suggested that we drive up  to Brighton and shoot photos of the cyclo-cross race up there.  With all of the other errands we did she ended up with 4 hours of driving time, and I shot 901 photos.  Good day all around.

The junior races (10-14, 15-18) were a blast to watch and photograph.  Their facial expressions were so dramatic.

As the men were warming up before the last race of the day, I spotted this rider and told my daughter – he is going to win.  I hadn’t even seen anyone else in the race at that point.  I could just tell by the way he dismounted his bike to speak to a friend.  He had ‘it’.  The ability to go from being on the bike to off the bike in one fluid motion.  Almost like some sort of shape-shifter.  Very important in ‘cross.

Of course it was mostly a lucky guess, but it was fun to watch the prediction play out.  He started in the back of the pack and was up to 5th place by the end of the first lap.  Then it was a couple of laps swapping leads with one other rider, before pulling away for good.

After a dark and overcast afternoon, the sun popped out at just the right moment and I snagged this shot at a fully-extended 300mm from a different part of the course.  My favorite element is the little cloud of dust that is lit up by the low-angle sunlight.

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YE FTW
1/640, f/8, 300mm @ ISO 200

The Agile Fox Friday Foto – 11.02.2012

After a year and a half of including a ‘pic of the week’ at the end of my weekly training summary, I’ve decided to let it stand as a post of its own.  I’m also implementing a rule that the Friday Foto needs to have been taken sometime in the last week.  No recycling.  I am doing this to keep me engaged in building my photography skills, and to make me work harder to get fresh shots.  Click here to see my previous Friday Foto posts.

The arctic wolf is a subspecies of the gray wolf.  The only subspecies that is not threatened, due to the extreme conditions of their habitat which keeps them isolated from man’s activities.  They live in darkness for five months out of the year and can go weeks without food.  Relying more on stamina than speed to take down prey, they cover territories of up to 1,000 square miles.  An adult wolf has 42 teeth, and can put down 20 pounds of meat in one meal.  They consume all of their prey, including the bones.

We lucked out during our visit to the zoo on Saturday and got to the wolf display right as the caretaker was entering the pen with two huge bones (femur?) in a five gallon bucket.  She placed a bone on a wooden platform and moved away.  The female wolf approached, and after checking the surroundings, made off with it in her jaws.  The male did likewise, and they both carried them around the pen for several minutes before finding different places to stash and cover them up.  It was a fascinating look at their wild and careful behavior, especially contrasted with our little corgi that practically does backflips when you come into the room with a dog biscuit.

I love how this shot turned out.  The lighting, the eyes, and huge bone are all awesome.  What is really cool, though – is that I was able to take this straight through the fencing that was between us (it was 5-6 feet in front of me, and the wolf was probably 40 feet).  Using a long lens at a wide aperture allowed me to compress the depth of field and make the fencing blur so much that it just disappears.

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Canis lupus arctos
1/320, f/5.3, 240mm @ ISO 400

The Agile Fox Friday Foto – 10.26.2012

After a year and a half of including a ‘pic of the week’ at the end of my weekly training summary, I’ve decided to let it stand as a post of its own.  I’m also implementing a rule that the Friday Foto needs to have been taken sometime in the last week.  No recycling.  I am doing this to keep me engaged in building my photography skills, and to make me work harder to get fresh shots.  Click here to see my previous Friday Foto posts.

I don’t often use photos of other people for my Friday Foto post, but this one was too good to pass up.  This couple was making the delicate shuffle down the hill to an aid station to pick up their drop bags after racing for 31 miles at the Lake Perry Rocks! 50K north of Topeka, KS.  No mylar wrap and shuttle buses here!  I couldn’t resist taking this shot as I stood waiting for my son to finish the race.

From a technical standpoint, what stood out to me were the colors and the lighting.  You can see how the trees cast many shadows on the road behind and in front of the couple.  I waited for them to hit a patch of light between the shadows before clicking the shutter.  I like the result!

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A Couple of Runners
1/640, 300mm, f/5.6 @ ISO 200