Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Photography "GURU"

For over a year, I have been submitting photos to the “Gurushots” Photography Challenges. It seems that I started on the challenge in the system’s infancy. In that time, the number of submissions have skyrocketed and the number of my achievements have tapered off. That says that I hit most of the requirements early in the history of the challenges.

When I started the challenges, I was not so much interested as “winning” by submitting my best photos. Instead I tried to submit the 4 (usually – some challenges had other requirements) photos that highlight the breadth of my skills for each of the challenges.

There are about 900 photos that I have saved/archived on my web site. Most are not view-able by on the web site. While selecting photos for the challenges, I ended up participating 160 challenges. For each challenge, my entree collections started hitting the “Popular”, “Skilled”, “Premier”, “Elite” and “All-Star” levels. Others participating in the challenges vote for the better photos. There were 3 winners in each of the challenges – Most Votes, Best Collection, and Guru’s Pick. Participants started as “Newbie”. Progressed to “Rookie”, “Challenger”, “Advanced”, “Veteran”, “Expert”, “Champion”, “Master”, and finally “Guru”.

Here are the requirements for achieving “Guru” status:
GuruShots Points – 150,000
Achieve “All-Star” level - 30 collections
Win the challenge – 1
Selected as “Guru Pick” - 5

As a “Guru” I will be able to create challenges. Not sure that I will do that. When I won the “RAW” Challenge, I was sent at camera trigger for smart phones.

It has been an interesting exercise. I looked at and judged thousands of photos. There were a lot of photos submitted, many are good, few are awesome, and some were not worth posting. Each time my collections hit the “All-Star” level, I posted my entrees on my photography blog.

I am not sure that I would take advantage on the opportunity to run a challenge. I am happy that I achieved “GURU” status. Think its time to spent the time in writing my memoirs and updating my web sites.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Panoramic Shots Challenge

I have been playing these Gurushot's challenges for some time.  A couple times, I have encountered the same/similar challenges.  Since I am getting close to the Guru level (144635 points, with 150,000 needed) I am anxious to complete the goal.  There have been numerous changes on the system and many more photographers in the challenge.  All this, I am getting tired of the challenges.  Some of the requirements for "Guru" I achieved early, not sure I could get those acheivements these days.  So, I am looking forward to finished the system.

This week, I achieved (for the second time, with the same photos) "All-Star" level for my collection of Panoramic photos.  Here are my entrees...

MonumentValpan3t           Monument Valley 2

MechanicsCorral    Ruins of the Mechanics Corral at Fort Union, NM

MonumentValPan4t      Monumnet Valley

NeedlesPano              Needles section of Canyonlands National Park

Friday, September 16, 2016

Shooting the State Fair Rodeo

My main interest in the New Mexico State Fair was to attend one of the rodeo performances.  It was the first time I attended the New Mexico fair.  Was not sure if the rodeo would be inside or outside. When I researched the venue, I found out the rodeo is being held in the Tingley Coliseum, and indoor venue.

The indoor venue meant I would he shooting under lower light conditions.  My cousin in Albuquerque accompanied me in the fair & rodeo.  Arrived early for the rodeo to check out the fair a little and grab some food.  We arrived just in time to see a couple dock jumping dogs (ALA David Letterman).  Walked around a little, but soon my left knee was giving me problems.  We staarted headed toward the coliseum for the rodeo.

Dock Dogs (DockDogs)

I brought my camera bag with my Canon 60D and Tamron 18-200mm lens.  As we were able to sit in the center of the coliseum seating, I realized that I would be able to shoot the whole rodeo with the one lens - no need to use any of the other lenses I had with me in the camera bag.
Dressed for the Rodeo (OutsideColiseum)

I set about to setting the camera for the shoot.  I realized I would need to use a high ISO setting.  Settling on ISO 3200.  Camera mode was Auto White Balance and Aperture Priority.  This gave me shutter speeds of 1/80 to 1/125 sec.

It was Military day at the State Fair. Both being veterans, my cousin and I got into the fair for $2 each.  The rodeo show was also geared to the military and veteran's.  Was a special tribute the us Vietnam Vets. 

Started using auto focus.  The camera could not keep up with the action.  I changed to manual focus.  This was the first time I shot so many photos with manual focus while also changing the lens focal length.
 Team Roping (TeamRoping)

The camera was shooting both RAW and JPG at the same time.  I have been doing this typically, so I can get quick edits for facebook, my blogs, and my web site.  When I want some for commercial uses or enlargements, I reprocess the photos from the camera RAW.
 Barrel Racing (BarrelRacing)

We enjoyed the rodeo.  The cowboys and cowgirls gave us a good show. The stock (calves, horses, and bulls) won the rodeo in our scoring.
Cowboy Faceplant (CowboyFaceplant)

I learned a lot of running my camera in low light conditions.  The camera and software preformed like a champ under these conditions.  All photos at the rodeo were processed by Photoshop Elements 9.  While I shot about 150 frames, there just under 100 that are worth posting on my web site.  Soon, the web site page will be created and photos will be posted.
Bull Riding (BullRiding)

These blog photos are available for sale.  Click on the "download" button under the photo.  You can order a full sized photo file without watermark.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Striking Compositions Challenge

Was not sure my photos would reach "All-Star" level in Gurushots "Striking Compositions Challenge".  With a day left in the challenge, my group of photos reached that level.  My selections are shown below.  As usual, photo files can be ordered by clicking on the "download" button beneath the photo.

AshlandOreDock             Now dismantled ore dock in Ashland, WI

TheWindow                Monument Valley Tribal Park, AZ/UT

ManyGlacierView                   Glacier National Park, MT

TetonBikeView                     Grand Teton Mountains view from the park's bicycle trail

Monday, August 1, 2016

Valles Caldera

Sunday, I made a return trip to Valles Caldera - New Mexico's Super Volcano.   My photos can be seen on my web site.  http://tomwinfield.com/new-mexico/valles-caldera.html

Scenic Mountains Challemge

My selections for the Scenic Mountains Challenge  has reached Gurushots "All-Star" level.  I have always enjoyed shooting mountain landscapes. To order a photo file of one of these or any of my other photos, click the "download" button under the photo.

BurrowsPark                     Along the Alpine Loop near Lake City, CO

ManyGlacierView    (one of Guru's Picks)            Glacier National Park, MT

LochVale                            Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

TetonView                        Grand Teton National Park, WY

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Guru's Picks

Many of you know that I have been entering photos in the Gurushot's challenges.  Early on I won a camera trigger system for smart phones being one of the 3 winners in the challenge.  Often, my selections have reached "All-Star" level. 

When selecting photos for the challenges, I select those that show the diversity of my photography, not the ones that I think that are the best.  The photographs and ranking are based by votes from other photographers in the challenge.  And, I can tell you they have diverse interests and likes!

Today, 2 of my photos were elected my "Guru's Picks", meaning the pro-photographer running the challenge selected my photos for recognition.  Here are my photo's that were "Guru's Picks".

ManyGlacierView                  Many Glaciers area of Glacier National Park
Guru's Pick in "Scenic Mountains"

DTBarHarborBW        Downtown Bar Harbor, ME           Guru's Pick in "Shades of Gray" challenge

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Shades of Red

This Gurushots Challenge surprised me.  I did not expect to reach "All-Star" level in the "Shades of Red" Challenge.  Alas, my selections made it.  Here are my entrees.

CabooseNbike                   Caboose and bicycle along Santa Fe's Rail Trail

RedsonLakefront                  Art and the light house on long  Kenosha, WI port

RedVet                          Red Corvette at outdoor car show

RedRoses                              Red roses in the garden at Washingtom Oaks State Park, FL

Monday, July 4, 2016

Black & White Outdoors Challenge

When any Black & White Gurushots challenge comes up, I have a problem selection which of my photos to enter.  I honed my skills as the publicity officer and photographer for the VFW in New Hampshire.  Any outdoor photographer aspires to me like Ansel Adams.  There are my "All-Star" entrees in the Gurushots Black & White Outdoors challenge.

NiagaraFallsBW                          Niagara Falls from the Skylon Tower

TetonView-bw                      Grand Tetons from the bicycle trail to Jenny Lake

EndlessTrail                           Paseo del Bosque south of Central Ave in Albuquerque, NM

JennyLake2-bw                        Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Movements in Nature Challenge

My selections in the Gurushots "Movements in Nature" reached "All-Star" level.  Here were my entrees.

SnowGeese          A flight if snow geese at Apache del Bosque Wildlife Refuge

OldFaithful           Yellowstone National Park

TahquamenonFalls                  Near Paradise on Michigan's UP

OuzalFalls                  rocky Mountain National Park

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Big Nature Challenge

Another Gugrushots collection has reached "All-Star" level.  This time in the "Big Nature Challenge:.  My entrees are below.  As usual, click on the "download" to get a photo file of the photo.

TheWindow      Monument Valley Tribal Park, AZ/UT

GrandCanyonS           South Rim of the Grank Canyon near Yampapa Point

Kodacrome      Kodachrome State Park, UT

PhotographingtheSplendor         Grand Teton National Patk, WY

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Photos of the Month Challenge

My collection for the Photos of the Month Challenge on Gurushots.com have reached the the "all-Star" level.  The selections are shown here.  Digital photo files are available by clicking on the "download" button under the photo.

FoggyMorningFishing         On the Arkansas River, Little Rock, AR

TheWindow        Monument Valley Tribal Park, AZ/UT

AbiquiuRedRock3                               Near Abiquiu, NM (Ghost Ranch)

TetonView     Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Iconic Locations Challenge

On the last day of the challenge, I selection in the Iconic Locations Challenge reached "All-Star" level.  As usual, photo files of these photos are available for download from this blog.  Just clink on the "download" button.

4Presidents          Mount Rushmore, SD

DevilsTowerTG   "Electrifying" photo of Devils Tower in Wyoming

Bridge-Falls         American Falls and Rainbow Bridge from Niagara Falls, Canada

OldFaithful                Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Orb of Night Challenge

I did not expect this collection to reach "All-Star" lever, but it did.  Here are my photos in the "Orb of Night Challenge on Gurushots.

Digital file copies are available by clicking on the "download" button under the photo.




Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Lets Get Rocking Challenge

Gurushots changed their scoring and levels.  It's now 3 photos that can be entered into a challenge.  Votes required to hit "All-Star" level was also change.  With more folks entering photos, it has been more difficult to achieve that level.  My collection "Lets Get Rocking" challenge recently reached "All-Star" level.

As usual - all of these photos are available as a photo file  - click on the "download" button.

CamelRock               outside Santa Fe, NM

DevilsTower        Devil's Tower National Monument, Wyoming

CannonBall            Cannon Ball rock from the cliff in Theodore Roosevelt National
Park, North Dekota