Bridle Bit Bull: The Story Behind the Photo

By Darren Wiedman

Bridle Bit Bull photo by Darren Wiedman

Bridle Bit Bull photo by Darren Wiedman

This was shot a few miles west of Throckmorton, Texas, which is just down the road from the middle of nowhere. I originally chose this location because I wanted to capture the Milky Way and darksitefinder.com indicated this was one of the darkest locations in the country (and the closest to me). While cyber-scoping the area via Google maps to find an interesting barn or pumpjack to put in the foreground, I was delighted to discover this 22-foot bull statue near the side of Hwy. 380. I realized I would be facing the wrong direction to have the Milky Way in the background, but I thought the bull was too good to pass up.

Unfortunately, the dark spot I found was still surrounded by distant cities, and there were even lights on the horizon. I thought about walking into the field to shoot toward the darker south, but I’m not a fan of rattlesnakes and real bulls, either of which could’ve been out there in the black.

I tried to light-paint the statue with little success. Fortunately, on my last attempt, an 18-wheeler was coming up the road and provided very dramatic lighting with its headlights.

For future night shoots, I’ll find a darker spot, bring a stronger flashlight, and shoot at a higher ISO (and remove grain in post).

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New(er) Year’s Resolutions

Many people have already given up on some of their new year’s resolutions. If that’s you, here are some new ideas to pursue instead. After all, why lose weight or quit smoking when you could be taking better pictures?

Photo by Daniel Cheung from Unsplash.com

Set a goal this year to win an award for your photography or to make money.

Start a photo blog. Look ahead to this year’s TAPC contest topics and start shooting (rather than pulling an old photo out of storage).

Take a road trip. There are many great photography destinations just a few hours away.

Stretch yourself. Try a new shooting technique or learn (and apply) something new in Photoshop or Lightroom.

Volunteer. Find a worthy cause looking for a free photographer.

Teach someone something about photography — often a great way to learn.
Start a personal project. Why not create something that has your signature all over it? Find something you have a passion for and give it your own personal spin.

Slow down. Take time to shoot the roses. What interesting subjects can you discover
on the way to your planned shoot?

Print more photos.

Photo by Daniel Cheung from Unsplash.com

Become a better critic. Now that we get to judge each other’s work every month for our People’s Choice awards, perhaps it’s time to get better at evaluating images. Review basic rules of composition and other aspects that are found in great photography. It will help yours.

Buy a new piece of gear. Or force yourself to use something you normally don’t.

Make time for photography. As the old saying goes: If it’s not scheduled, it’s not happening.
Whatever it is you want to do, put it on your calendar in advance. Then do it.

Take a field trip. Go online and soak up all the free articles and videos. If this newsletter is the only thing you read about photography, you are seriously missing out.

Photos by Daniel Cheung from Unsplash.com