Weekly Photo Challenge: Experimental

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On our recent trip to Texas to visit family, my brother-in-law asked if we’d like to go to a CBR bull riding competition. I said a very loud “oh yeah!”. I’ve always wanted to watch bull riding in person; I’ve watched it many times on television. And…what could be more Texan that bull riding?

I imagine each time these cowboys mount their bull, it is an experiment to see how long they can stay on the bull and if so,can they reach the magic 8 second mark? For me, the experiment was using an ISO of 3200 indoors, handheld, from the bleachers with a standard 70-200 4.5 zoom lens. Some images were better than others.

So as I am wont to do, here’s some facts on bull riding I didn’t know:

Bull Riding Rules:

8 seconds is the length of a qualified ride and was devised purely for the safety and well-being of the animals. After 8 seconds the bull or horse losses adrenaline and along with fatigue their bucking ability decreases.

For 8 seconds you can’t touch any part of your body or the bulls body as far as that goes
You can’t have your spurs in the ropes when you leave the chute (I’d likely have my arms and legs wrapped around the chute… lol)
Scoring: The bull gets half of the points and the cowboy the other half. Points up for grabs are 0-100 and there are typically 2 judges. Judges look for control and rhythm of the rider with the bull. The bull is judged basically on his agility and raw strength.
If the bull performs poorly a rider can be offered another chance to ride before being scored.
Scores in the 70’s are average, 80’s are dang good and 90’s… well that’s a real cowboy!!!


To see more of this week’s challenge, click Experimental.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Temporary

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The deer in our recreation park are somewhat accustomed to humans so afford us more time in their presence than would a totally wild deer. For just a minute, this deer locked eyes with me, I’m sure trying to determine whether I was friend or foe. Although I believe she knew I was no threat to her and allowed me to take her photo. After a brief time, she scampered off into the wood with her white flag waving.

To see more of this week’s challenge, click Temporary.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Round

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We arrived in Galveston on a windy, rainy gray day. It was only a couple weeks past Hurricane Harvey, but very little damage was visible in Galveston. We walked a short distance along the Seawall trying not to get soaked. Amidst the haze and mist in the distance was the historic Pleasure Pier.

For decades, the historic Pleasure Pier served as a tourism catalyst for Galveston’s Seawall Boulevard and the Texas Gulf Coast. More than 40 years after the original Pleasure Pier was destroyed by Hurricane Carla, Landry’s has transformed the Pleasure Pier into a world-class amusement park for all ages.

Originally built in the late 1940s as a recreational facility for the military, the Pier was turned over to the city after World War II and named Pleasure Pier. The Pleasure Pier operated as an iconic family destination until 1961, when Hurricane Carla hit Texas. In 1965, the Flagship Hotel, then the only hotel in the nation built entirely over the water, opened on the site, but was severely damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008. In 2012, the Pleasure Pier reopened as a nostalgically-themed amusement park — representing a return to glory for the Pier. https://www.galveston.com/pleasurepier/

To see more of this week’s challenge, click Rounded.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Glow

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The Reflecting Pool in front of the Climatron

Another photo from one of my favorite places, the Missouri Botanical Gardens, Garden Glow.

The design of the Climatron greenhouse was developed by St. Louis architects Murphy and Mackey, winning the 1961 Reynolds Award, an award for architectural excellence in a structure using aluminum. In 1976 it was named one of the 100 most significant architectural achievements in United States history. The term “Climatron” was coined to emphasize the climate-control technology of the greenhouse dome.

The Climatron has no interior support and no columns from floor to ceiling, allowing more light and space per square foot for plants than conventional designs. It rises 70 feet in the center, spans 175 feet in diameter at the base, has 1.3 million cubic feet, and encloses approximately 24,000 square feet (more than half an acre).

The Garden Glow is returning this winter from November 18 to January 1, 2018. If you are in the St. Louis area this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity. Tickets are required for specific times in the Garden.

To see more of this week’s challenge, click Glow.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Structure II

corleyfoto structure again

The second, third and fourth tiers of A Hall of the old Missouri State Penitentiary  in Jefferson City, Missouri commonly referred to as “The Walls” because of the stone wall which surrounded the prison. Opened originally in 1836, it is known as “The Bloodiest 47 Acres in America”, and was finally closed in 2004.

“Before it was decommissioned in 2004, the Missouri State Penitentiary was the oldest continuously operating penitentiary west of the Mississippi River. Housing Unit Four, aka A Hall, was completed in 1838, making it the prison’s oldest structure. More than 50 other buildings were added to the site during MSP’s storied history, which includes famous inmates Sonny Liston, who began his boxing career while incarcerated at the prison, and James Earl Ray, who escaped the prison by way of a bread truck in 1967 (he assassinated Martin Luther King Jr. the next year).” https://www.missouripentours.com/into-the-dark.php


Only three of the 50 buildings on the penitentiary grounds remain; two cell blocks and the gas chamber. The penitentiary hosts daylight and nighttime guided tours.

To see more of this week’s challenge, click Structure.