Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Make Room For The Train - How'd I do that?

Several have inquired about how I did this, so here it is. It was pretty easy actually. First set your camera to Manual mode Shutter speed is key.  The settings weren't perfect since this was a spur of the moment shot. I ones that were used ; 1/80th sec for shutter, would of gone slower to 1/60th if this was planned and used a tripod. Since it was a bright day F-stop was at f/25, ISO was at 250, thought I had it 200 which would of been better.  At the last moment I ask the family to stand by the track...at a safe distance and be very very still.  With no posing time allowed they did great! 

Use the slide bar at the bottom to speed the slideshow up.

You don't have to use a train, you just need to be safe.  Any moving object will work, the faster the better.
Want to learn more or not sure what ISO, F-Stop or shutter speed means, sign up for lessons.

To view the series of photos with the moving train

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rocky Mountain National Park Trip 2010 – Part I

After a 13 hour drive we arrived at approximately 6pm to our 1st cabin in Estes Park. I love the trails and scenery of the East Side of the park, but not a big fan of the crowds. We took a quick drive to Sheep Lake / Horseshoe Park area and then drove up Beak Lake Road before returning to the cabin to eat and get ready for bed. The next morning Tom & I drove up early to Sprague & Bear Lakes to catch the stillness and uncrowdness of the lakes at sunrise. This on our list of must do’s when we visit. We returned to the cabin with donuts in hand for the girls, who were dressed and ready to go for our 1st hike. We made a poor decision for our 1st hike by choosing West Creek Falls. The elevation of the falls and trailhead were deceiving and looked like an easy hike, but in actuality you have to hike up a steep trail and then hike back down the other side. We made it to the top of the trail, but decided to head back, knowing the return would have been too much as were all ready winded and almost out of water. It was too much for us flat-landers. We did enjoy the view and the numerous birds, especially hummingbirds that were on the trail. Back at the cabin we enjoyed a relaxing lunch next to the Fall River at our cabin at Castle Mountain Lodge and listening to the sounds of the river. We headed out to Cub Lake, since we knew that was an easy hike. Later in the evening we went up the Avuial Fan, another must do. We prefer to go in the early evening, because mid-day it is packed. We arrived at the perfect time, as we meet the nicest couple who had a great spotting scope and showed up some large Big Horn Sheep rams on the side of the mountain. FINALLY in the many years of going to RMNP we saw some rams. The couple let us use their scope we could see them up close and were hard to see with the naked eye. I took a few photos, but they were too far and since it was dusk, the photos were very grainy and under exposed, but I’ll share anyways since they were so magnificent to watch.
The next day we repeated the trip to Sprague & Bear Lake, but this time with the girls and a little later. We decided to hike up to Bierstadt Lake from Bear Lake and then down to the Bierstadt trailhead. We still had to do some uphill to the Bierstadt, but nothing if we started at the trailhead, that is quite a hike up. We took the shuttle back to Bear Lake. Be sure to make use of the shuttles in RMNP, makes it much easier for those like us that are not use to hiking in thinner air, higher altitudes and steeper grades. It also helps cut back with air pollution in the park by having fewer vehicles. Bierstadt Lake was not my favorite, but still beautiful and I have heard it has can be if you arrive at sunrise. The hike down the trail does have some breath-taking views. We had to hurry back to the cabin in time for check out time and move to the cabin on the west side for the remainder of the trip. After packing up within a matter of minutes we were on our way. We took our time since we couldn’t check in for several hours and made a side trip to Granby for the week’s groceries.

The west-side has a total different look than the more crowded east-side. It is less rocky and more forested, although over the past few years most of the lodge pole pines have succumbed to the pine beetle infestation and sadly has changed the look of the west-side. There is also the Kawuneeche Valley which has the Colorado River and is much wetter which is ideal for our favorite RMNP animal, the moose! Mary always counts how many “sightings” we have each year and broke it this year with 70. I am sure some of these are repeated moose, but that is why we say moose sightings. We went out every evening to go on our moose hunt. I can’t and won’t bore you with by recounting all the sightings, but we did have fun looking for and watching them. We saw several cow and calf pairs which always fun to watch. One of the most memorable sightings was watching and pair cross the Colorado River and then watched the cow jump a fence and waited patiently for her calf to jump also. He ran up and down the fence line for at least 30 minutes, I am sure scared to death as several other people joined in the watch. While we remained in our car to watch, they all got out of their vehicles to get a better shot. I rather miss the “perfect” shot, then to stress the wildlife. The wildlife is use to the cars and people on trails & roadsides but leave you vehicle and get off the trails it stress the animals and puts yourself in danger. Seems this year was the year of the smart people, “schmert” as the girls were calling them. We watch as a couple got closer and closer to a moose cow as the moose watched them closely. They were lucky as she didn’t have a calf with her and soon took off into a deeper vegetated area. Not only did they stress the moose and endanger their selves, they ruined it for anyone who wanted to properly observe her. The lady walked up to our truck and proudly announced that we walked along the tree-line as she did, we could see it up close. I quickly replied, “We are not that stupid and you’re lucky she did not have a calf or she might have come after you”. She said,” I know, one chased me yesterday”. I don’t think it dawned on her that I just called her stupid. We joked about her throughout the trip as we came across several others that basically did the same thing. Most of them had a small point and shoot camera and since most of this happened at dusk, not to be a photo snob, but the photo won’t be worth it compared to the risk they just took. A majority of the wildlife photos I took were from our truck and I got plenty of decent photos for my family & friends to enjoy. Stay patient for the grazing, relaxed animal to look up and take your shot, if they start to stare at you, back away you’re stressing them. I saw too many people yelling, raising their arms or shaking items to get the animals attention, like they are prey animals and they will look up occasionally or more to another location….be patient.
Another one of my favorite moose sightings was at a distance, but still fun to watch. While a moose cow ate in an old beaver pond, her calf ran and jumped around her splashing in the water, it was very cute to watch. Our favorite sighting involved several elk and a one moose. We have a favorite spot that at one time, not many knew about (more and more are figuring out though). It brings you very close to the river and many animals cross there. We watched from the truck as the elk and the lone moose grazed across the river from us, with exception of a 2 of the elk, they crossed the river. I had to set the camera and hand it to Tom (who got a lesson 2 days before to use my old camera) and told him to focus and start shooting. He did pretty well, many were out of focus, but one shot was great and I told him I was going to enter it in local photo contest for him. The greatest thing of this event was an elk with great personality. He didn’t cross the river; he used a small bridge to cross. He slowly made its way toward us, stood about 5 feet from my window and took a quick look and then proceeded to check out the truck bed, I am assuming for food. He then walked over to the driver’s side to check out my husband, and then went on his way. The girls loved it and named this bunch of elk. The named the elk with big personality "Ed" and they mentioned him several times throughout the trip. 
For more on my trip look for Part II

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Denton County Horse Book

Book Update – Denton County Horse Country

So far I have visited only 8 farms and ranches. Well behind what I wanted to do by the first part of June. Since old man winter hung on a little longer, it pushed my starting point way behind. The trees stayed bare long and horse coats held on to their heavier coats longer than normal. Then we had above normal rain for the early part of spring, but now we are in great need of rain as the days are starting it hit in the 100’s. I still have a long list of places I want to visit, just hoping to get to a few before everything turns brown or dries up.

My visits have been very relaxing and find a great peace in walking around several of the ranches. I have even come to the conclusion that is what I hope to bring that peace to some of the photos in my book. Showing horses in their natural state of grazing or being curious. And trust me, I have found some very inquisitive animals. They are fascinated by the presence and sounds of my camera. So lots of head and close up shots is what I end up taking. There will not be any “staged” horses running across the pasture, but if I am lucky enough to capture a few horses running and playing naturally, I won’t miss trying to get those shots.

I am thankful for the faculties that have allowed me to visit and photograph their horses and surroundings. Some give me free rein to go where I chose. I have been given small tours or large detailed tours by owners and employees. One thing for certain is they are all love their horses and take pride in the facilities in which they are associated with

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Denton County Youth Fair

Last week I attended the Denton County Livestock Assocation Youth Fair.  This fair has been a regular event for our family for 15 years. My kids have entered many of the events offered over the past years; include goats, food, queen contest and of course the horse show. The fair brings many families and friends together. Many friendships have been made at this show, even though they may only meet up a few times a year. What I have learned over the years is the fair is a lot of hard work. Having being the horse show manager or superintendent over the years I know what it takes behind the scenes, but it is nothing compared to the jobs that some are responsible for. Then there are the kids. What they do to prepare their projects is amazing. There is so much dedication, responsibility and time involved to bring home a ribbon or the ultimate goal; make the auction. Not only do they work hard, they support their competitors and guide the beginners. The rodeo is the last event of the fair and is great fun, from mutton busting to calf scramble to the friends and family cheering them on. It was extremely windy this year, but the stands were still full of those supporting the youth competing.

Most of the fair is supported by local donors, their help keeps entry fees affordable, provides belt buckles, scholarships, buys auction projects and much more. So if you have a county fair, please make a donation and support your local youth and employers I recommend hiring someone that was involved in this time of competition. They already have all the right qualities!
To see all photos visit links below
Rodeo (it was too getting to dark for many of them to turn out decent from the stands)
Horse Show-Performance
Horse Show- Speed
Youth Fair

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Signs of Spring!

After being sick for the past week, I finally got out some this morning to look for signs of spring. Yesterdays wind did help dry up the mud somewhat, but there is still plenty.  One thing for sure it will be a very green spring and plenty of wild flowers.

Book your photo session now, there are plenty of reasons to have your some photography done.
  • Spring Break
  • Texas Bluebonnets
  • Easter outfits.
  • Proms/ Weddings -portraits before or after and ROCK YOUR DRESS Equine style
  • Your horse's winter coat is shedding and is always shinest in the spring.
  • Create a memory that will late a lifetime.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My trip to Lubbock and the kindness of strangers

I recently traveled to Lubbock Texas to watch my oldest daughter compete in an IHSA show. My youngest daughter and her friend also took the trip with me. I had the horse trailer with us, as I was bringing a horse for them to use during the show. I also brought the trailer along to pick up the friend's horse which Amanda has been training for the past 2 months. Needless to say as many of you know, pulling a trailer can suck the gas. I had plans on stopping in  Guthrie (know for many large ranches such has the The Four Sixes) and getting gas as I have before. This is were the oh no began. The highway recently was re-routed in Guthrie and caused the gas station to go out of business. The next town was roughly 30 miles away. I wasn't too worried until we had to head up the cap rock, I totally forgot about that. We almost made it too. We were almost to the top when the jerky and stuttering began. I kept thinking as soon as we level out we will be ok. I was wrong. There were two gas stations ahead that I knew of and thought I had them insight, but we were coasting and I had to pull over. I was too far from the gas stations to leave two young girls alone and felt it wasn't safe to bring them along and cross the highway. I called my daughter to inform her and thank goodness she had a friend who reminded me to call the number on the back of my driver’s license for help. After a few phone calls I was put in contact with the Dickens County Sheriff dispatcher. She was one of the nicest persons I have ever spoken too and bent over backwards to help. She took my number and said she would call me back when she could contact someone to help me. When she called be back she told me there wasn't a deputy in the area, but was sending her son and asked for a description of what I was driving. I was overwhelmed with the kindness of strangers and I was glad I ran out of gas in a small town. To give a suggestion on how small the area is when she was trying to figure out my location she asked me if I passed the court house. After seeing numerous courthouses in Texas I was thinking a much larger building so told her I didn't think I did? On my return trip I looked for it and the courthouse wasn't much bigger than a small two-story house, no wonder I missed it.

While we were waiting for her son to arrive we watch a coyote cross the road a few 100 feet in front of us. Then we saw a small thin mama dog cross the road, then cross again and again. The last time she was almost hit by an 18-wheeler. We packed out lunch, so I had food with us. She must have smelled the food and was standing outside of the truck door. I stepped out and gave her most of my sandwich- she needed it much more than I did. I picked her up and look her over and could tell nothing has nursed off her for in sometime. I couldn't live myself if on my return trip and she was killed on the road, so I put her in the truck. The dispatcher's son arrived and he put plenty of gas in my truck to get me much further than the next gas station. We talked about the dog and he thought he knew who she belonged to and kind of questioned me taking it. Then I showed him the dog and agreed she needed attention now. I told him that I would stop on my way back on Sunday to check if at the home he thought she belonged to. I tried to pay him for the gas and his time and he completely refused and I was very persistent. I was asked to just pay it forward; I liked that idea and hope to pay it forward to someone who needs a hand.

Her son then followed us to the nearest gas station to make sure we would get there safely. On our way out of town, his mother called us back and thanked us for picking up the dog and no need to stop on the way back. Apparently the dog's owners left town and abandoned her and her pups which the sheriff office confirmed they were all dead.

The girls named the dog Lulu after the nearest town that had a "girl" name - Idalou. She is doing great, putting on weight, getting a little spring in step and brightness to her coat. I hope to find a good home for her when she is healthier, but hubby (also called the dog-man in my house) is getting attached.

If you ever pass through Dickens Texas, know that there are some very friendly and good heart residents there as the not so good-hearted left town. I do like the saying "Pay It Forward" and need more of it in life.

I did take some photos on my trip.  The ones above are taken a rest area/historical marking west of Guthrie.  In the past there  has been broodmares from the 6666 ranch getting water.  Wasn't as lucky on this day.  The photo with the brands was taken with my cell phone, was pretty dull so did some editing to brighten it up and to remove the trash on the ground, but I had to share.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I always thought I lived in Texas.....

.... but I am beginning to have second thoughts.  After having a record breaking snow yesterday I think we moved north without notice.  This winter has been like no other I have been in since living in Texas.  Wait I grew up in Southern California, so make that all my life.  Don't get me wrong I love the snow and spent most of the day out in.  Evidence is proven by my red face, guess the sun isn't the only thing that can do that.  After doing the usual snowman building and playing with family and dogs, I decided to take a short hike in surrounding pastures.  I didn't go far since12 inches of snow gives the legs a good workout and I soon discovered why they make snowshoes.  After talking to several of my local friends, we came to the conclusion that Texas people don't have snow legs and our northern friends have buns of steel.  I can recall when it went over 32 degrees, as I was standing under a bunch of trees when the snow started falling and had to move quick!  I did get my camera out a few times so I could share with my friends.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What do when all there is MUD?

Being no market for mud shots, even though a good friend of mine did suggest there maybe a market for female mud wrestling photos. Had a good laugh, but sorry not my style.
I decided to just try a few black and white edits. I have always liked the artistic appeal of some black and white photos, I just need more practice. So here are a few of my "practice" edits. Not the best shots, just playing around with our own horses, I think the last non-super muddy day we had. Those are rare days this winter.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tips for preparing your dog for photos

If you are like me your dog or dogs in my case are part of the family, so why capture memories of you beloved pet in photographs. To make the most out of your time in front of the camera, be prepared. In most cases you will want you dog clean and well groomed, do this before your photo session begins. If you want action shots this may not be as crucial as a portrait type session.

When finding a photographer for you dog, be sure they have some experience around dogs. Non-fans of dogs wouldn't be your best bet to hire.

If your dog doesn't know a few basic commands like sit and stay, start working on it a few weeks before your session. Training most dogs basic commands doesn't take much time and it will make the session much less stressful for you, your dog and your photographer.

Bring your dogs favorite treat and toy to help get a good expression on your dogs face. Sometimes a brand new toy helps. Also bring some water and a bowl for your dog. Some dogs may be afraid of the noises and flashes of a camera, so acclimated before you session. Let your photographer know if your pet is fearful of anything. If the photographer doesn't have an assistant, have another family member or someone else your dog is familiar with to assit.

Choosing your location is very important. Safety for your dog is the most important thing to consider, not to close to roads or other dangerous places for dogs. Consider the coloring of your dog so you dog stands out and doesn't blend into the background.

Think of the time of year and climate. If your session in the summer consider the early morning so your dogs tongue isn't hanging out the whole time and doesn't become overheated if doing action shots.

If your dog is part of the family and your life include them your personal portraits!

Be sure to visit my web-site for more session tips.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rock The Dress; Equine Style

Rock The Dress, Trash The Dress, Rock The Frock what ever you wish to use. It is one of the latest styles of capturing your dream dress. Sure you have formal portraits done before and after the ceremony, but do they reflect the real you. Rock the Dress is used to express the real you and to have a little fun. You spend hours finding the perfect dress for your perfect day, get the most out of it. Whether it is your wedding, prom or other special occasion why not see yourself in a different light than the normal portraits. You bought the dress for an important day in your life, why not include your favorite horse that is so important to you. You will cherish it for years.

I had some great models that were both excellent riders. Thanks to Rachel & KC for allowing me to use them as my Guinea Pigs and were very willing to do whatever I ask. Of course on my way home I kept thinking of poses I should of had them do. They had to deal with the wind, bright sun and fresh horse. It wasn't too cold, but I had a jacket on and they were in spaghetti strap gowns. I also want thank Hixon Show Horses for allow us to us their facility. Some of you may recognize the large un-finished house in the back ground of some of the photos that has been a landmark in Sanger, Texas for many years (decades).

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

Trash The Dress is not limited to those with horses. If you are into rock climbing, try it at your favorite spot. If you are into working out, to a shoot at your favorite gym. Whatever your sport, career or hobby is; work it in the photo shoot and show the real you.

It is recommended that you do this type of shoot after your event.

To see all the photos click on photo:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hurry up spring

So far I have had a good response to my project for this spring were I plan on creating a photo book of the horses of Denton County. There has been several ranches or trainers willing to or asking be to included. I have met some of the nicest people and the are extremely proud of their horses. I am blessed to live in this area and look forward to a face to face meeting of everyone I have talked to.
I have always thought I knew how diverse this area is in its horse population, but I have discovered I have just scratched the surface. Its much more than the Stock Horse breeds that dominate the county. Seems more equine variety is starting to take root.

I still don't know what the emphasis will be one, but my head is full of 1000's ideas. I guess once I start taking the photos, my plan will come into focus (no pun intended).
Can't wait till spring when everything greens, horses coats are slick and plenty of foals to watch!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I plan on doing a photo book of the horses/ ranches of Denton County. Haven’t figured which direction I am going yet on were the strongest emphasizes will be: either foals, stallions, faculities or a combination. As you know Denton County has largest horse population in Texas and one of the largest in the country. There have been several books of this kind in the Lexington, Kentucky and Ocala, Florida areas, but none in Denton County that I know of. I have always felt that Denton County has not promoted the large equine industry as the previous listed areas have and hope this book will help. The passing of the recent Texas Incentive Fund is another reason to promote this area. I want to include several different breeds and disciplines to show the diversity of horses that is in Denton County.

If you know of a faculity that would allow me to come take some photos please pass this along. What I am wanting is to occasionally do photos of their horses and facility. This is at no cost to them. I will never show up unannounced and will contact them at least 24 hours ahead of time. I will not disturb daily activities. I may ask a few questions but this can usually be done my e-mail and answered on their own time. All photos will become property of Terri Cage Photography, but they will have the option to approve the photos I wish to use for publishing. I will provide them with 10 low resolution photos for their use. I do ask that if used, that they include a photo credit and link to my web-site. Most photos will also be listed on an on-line gallery for their viewing. I plan to start photos mid-February through May and may visit 1 to 3 times, unless it snows again, then I will want to come out then. Time of days I would be there are early to mid morning or a few hours before sunset. The facility with a little background and details will also be mentioned in the book.

Monday, January 11, 2010

TFCD Equestrian Models Needed

TFCD Equestrian Models Needed:
No modeling experience needed, just need to be able to ride a horse bareback at a lope/canter.
Having a used wedding gown or prom dress that you don't mind getting a little dirty is a plus. If not I have a few dresses.
I will come to you if local or meet at another senic location. e-mail me at terricage@earthlink.net If you are wondering what TFCD is - Time for CD. You provide your time and I provide you with a CD at not cost to you

This would be great for a bride or who wants a photo with their dress on their horse.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Too Cold Outside

so my critters were prey to my camera lens today

Cisco; a former SPCA rescue dog was somewhat sleepy and had a hard keeping his eyes open. Finally got one with his eyes open, gave him a treat and sent him on his way

Charlie; our newest addition was more interested in playing

Juliet wasn't sure what she was supposed to do, but figured it out quickly and was happy to pose-being a Diva it came naturally