Mud 'n' fun in the sun

August 9, 2013 

While I'm not naive enough to actually think so, sometimes it feels like I've photographed almost every assignment after 5.5 years on the job. It's especially hard to escape this feeling after Water Follies — an annual vacation blackout date for the photo desk.

But the week after boat races brought just the right amount of fresh into my assignment load to remind me once again that I am a sniveling, whiny little brat who doesn't know tic from tac.

First, I had a blast on Friday covering the Partners N Pals horse-riding day. It's an annual event I'd been aware of, but just never got to photograph. And while I'd shot a few other Partners N Pals events before, this one always seemed like it'd be extra fun. And despite a miscommunication about the start time, which led to me missing the first group almost entirely, it lived up to expectations. Here's the gallery if you're interested, but I'll distill it to my favorites as usual:

The hour or so of downtime from the miscommunication wasn't a total loss, though. They were nice enough to feed me pizza and I was able to do an interview for a quick video (that only 41 people watched):

That low viewership was extra irritating since I spent time on shooting clips that would have been better spent hunting for good moments at the various other attractions. The petting zoo in particular was a weak spot in my take, which is pretty embarrassing for such a cute and happy go-to setting.

The next morning took me out to Horn Rapids ORV for the first Black Widow Mud and Sun Run. I've wanted to cover one of these dirty obstacle course races for a while and this was a pretty great way to spend a Saturday morning:

The only downside was getting blasted by a runaway hose, soaking my pants and notepad, but sparing my iPhone and cameras. I also wish I would have pushed myself a bit more creatively to work in some slower shutter speeds and tighter detail shots. You can see the rest of my take here. Let me know if you disagree with my selections above.

While a truly new assignment in this area is becoming ever more rare the longer I've been on staff, last week was a good reminder that something fresh or muddy could always be around the corner.

Speaking of new...

The Washington Post has a new owner. The Internet was quickly aflutter with snarky quips, but Photoshelter's Allen Murabayashi offers his thoughts on how this change may affect the business climate of photojournalism.

Pete Souza is on Instagram now and Time's Lightbox has an interview with the Chief Official White House Photographer about spreading his social media wings.

I won't pretend to understand all the photo-implications from this development, but Alkhazur Manakov's KaleidoCamera will do something cool, it seems, splitting light into separate beams that will allow refocusing and HDR in post-processing from a single click of the shutter. For a look at and old-school-camera-tech arms race, check out the Carl Zeiss Super-Q-Gigantar 40mm f/0.33.

Joe Hinson has been running into some trouble for photographing trains from public property and posting videos of his interactions.

Nicky Bay's exquisite macro shots of exotic spiders will make other people uncomfortable for different reasons.

And just for fun (and because I can't wait until the Sunday premiere), here's a musical of Breaking Bad as performed by middle school students.

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