For My Dad & Mom

This week was filled with horses and John Deere tractors 🙂 My mom loves horses (all animals, really) and she barrel raced once upon a time. My dad grew up farming and owned his own farm years ago. Hence the title, “For My Dad & Mom”. I feel like this week was all about things they love.

It all started with my dad mentioning, “Hey, you should take some pictures of John Deere tractors. That would be cool.” There’s a John Deere tractor store not far from my home and I thought that would be perfect to be able to render his request.
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I’m always amazed by how large these tractors are! This is a bolt on one of the wheels in relation to my thumb.
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And I captured a palm tree to include a piece of where I am and something I will forever associate with the Thornley name.
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I realized while working that one of my coworkers has some absolutely beautiful horses. She’s a wonderful person and I thought she might indulge me. Sure enough she was very welcoming when I asked if I could stop by her place on Saturday.

Now, Shooting 201 is still going on. This week is full-sun week, where we were challenged to take on the full sun and how to overcome its harshness. We were instructed on how to capture haze as well. I was excited!!! I love the hazy look!

The hardest part about this week’s lesson and assignments, though, was the simple fact that I work during daylight hours. *Shucks* I practiced in the mornings before work when I had slivers of light and as soon as 5:00 rolled around I quickly clocked out and grabbed my camera to try and practice on what few rays of light remained.

I got this:
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It was sunny the entire week and I was so thrilled. I knew Saturday would be spent all day in practicing and I was POSITIVE I would get some awesome hazy shots.

Ha ha, yeah right! Saturday I set my alarm for 5:30 a.m., left home at 6:00 and headed on over to my coworker’s ranch to be able to utilize the morning golden hour with the plan of returning for the afternoon golden hour. And in rolled the clouds… Arg. I drove around, took some shots of the landscape. At about 9:00 a.m. I realized I was crap outta luck and started driving home.

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I decided to at least try taking some photos again that afternoon with or without the sun. It was the best experience ever. 🙂

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First we were welcomed by my friend’s dogs. This one in particular wanted attention and obviously felt the best way to get it was to sit immediately between your legs and his head just below your crotch. Crazy, sweet dog! Sure enough after taking these pictures I looked down and there he was directly underneath me, too.

Then I got the courage to go into the horse enclosure. I am always amazed by these animals. They could literally pick me up by my shirt and fling me like a rag doll across the field without thinking about it… but they don’t.

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And horse kisses! I was showered in horse kisses! How a living thing can not brush its teeth for days on end and still have breath smell so sweet, I will never know. They would nuzzle their noses against my face and I got to feel their breath against my cheeks. It was spectacular.
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However, as you probably noticed, I got nothing but close up shots. With beasts as big as this, you need some room with a 50mm lens! Yeah, not so much here. I would walk away, they’d look at me puzzled and then immediately plod next to me. What an amazing feeling, though. Not great for shots, but oh my, what a humbling feeling to walk away and have 4 horses walking right next to you, behind you and to your other side. Does one ever get used to that feeling?

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I walked outside of the enclosure to hopefully get some full body shots, but they were there, pressed up against the gate and that not only melts your heart, but makes for a ruined photo for me – I want all horse, no bars!
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Oh well. So no haze and hardly any full body shots. Whatcha gonna do? Enjoy what I did get, which was a bunch of kisses! It really doesn’t get any better than that.

Afterwards I went to take some shots of James and utilized my reflector.
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And last I took some pictures of the beautiful sunset.

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A truly wonderful weekend.

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