Monday, May 18, 2009

Tired, Sore and Happy

I went with Amanda this weekend to the Flashing Canines Agility Trial in Medicine Hat to take pictures. It was a whirlwind, but very fun. Amanada and I drove up Friday night as we had to be there around 7:30 Saturday morning. I finally convinced Amanda to take a turn driving and she drove from Taber to Bow Island. It was her first time on the highway and you should have seen her face. It was hilarious. She wouldn't let me take a picture and I was afraid she'd take a hand off the wheel to hit me if I tried so I refrained. She was quite nervous but she did great. We are all still alive. :)We got up bright and early on Saturday and off we went. There was a great area in a ball dugout just on the edge of the trial site that I set up in. It was perfect. First up was a Standard Course and off I went to take pictures. And more pictures. And more pictures. It was pretty crazy how many pictures I took that first day - around 4,000. It definitely got better as the weekend went on. I took less pictures and there were many more in focus. I was learning.

By the end of the weekend I was only taking 5-10 per dog per run, while at the beginning it was probably closer to 20. Initially I was trying to follow the dogs around most of the course but I soon realized that there was no way I could keep up. So I ended up just picking certain pieces of equipment and waiting for the dog to arrive. It took me a while to get over the guilt of not taking as many as I could but I got much better photos by picking and choosing my sites. At the start of each event it would take a few dogs to figure out where exactly I should stand to optimize the pictures and if I had enough time to get the camera (and sometimes my body) from spot to spot. By the 10th dog I had a pretty good system down.

That first night, I was so tired I could have fallen asleep at the dinner table. Poor Amanda. After dinner we went back to the hotel room and she continued sorting my photos. I'm not sure how I would have done things without her help as I didn't know most of the dogs so organizing them would have been difficult. I would have had folders labeled as "Border Collie 203", "Border Collie 204", etc. (There were a lot of border collies!). So while Amanda organized I did my best to stay awake. I didn't quite make it.

Sunday was better. I only photographed 2 events instead of 3 but people started to come over to see the pictures and arrange to purchase CD's. It was hard to download and organize while people were trying to look through photos. I obviously couldn't burn CD's until the end and luckily the last event was one I wasn't planning on taking photos of. So I spent that time putting together the CD's. I sold more than I had hoped which was great! But it was a very long day and we were literally the last people packing up. I already have a few ideas on how to make the next trial go more smoothly.

Amanda was a great trooper hanging out and waiting for me and helping with everything, including looking after poor Lacey. On Sunday I hadn't had time since 10 a.m. to get her out of the van and thankfully Amanda had taken her for a few runs in the field with her dogs.

Speaking of Lacey, she did great with the crowds and the dogs. She still didn't really want to be touched much but she had no problems walking by all the people and pups. I was very proud of her. She also managed not to poop in the hotel room this time. :)

I have barely looked through the thousands of photos I took so I'll be doing that more today and will be posting them on the photography blog over the next week or so.

I'm off to burn CD's for friends, who of course got left til the end! This is their sneak peak. All the photos are from the second Standard Run on the first day.


Stephanie V said...

Well done, you! I know you won't be resting today although it sure sounds like you deserve one.

Looking forward to your photos.

Sarah said...

funny, i and tired, happy and sore too!

nice sneak peek pics Wendy!

manymuddypaws said...

great pics Wendy!

StellaStar said...

Great job capturing all the action! If I thought 1-day weddings were exhausting, I can't even imagine a two-day-dog-agility EVENT!

onecollie said...

the pictures look great Wendy!!
I am so glad that you "arrived alive" !!! LOL!!