Monday, January 28, 2013

Slow Weekend for San Antonio Weddings

January is always a little slow for weddings.  This sucks because I've got a new camera and new lenses that need to be worked!  So what does a bored Texas photographer do on a Saturday when he doesn't have a wedding to photograph?  He heads to the Rodeo.  Well, not exactly.  I'm not much of a rodeo fan.  I spent enough time around a rodeo pen when I was a kid in Hereford Texas.  There is nothing about a bucking horse, or a mean 2,000 lb. bull that I want to get up and close to with an expensive camera.  So, instead of the horse and bull rodeo, I went to the BBQ Cook-Off!

From what I was told, the BBQ Cook-off here at the rodeo is a big deal.  There were corporate BBQ teams there from all over the country.  Those guys take BBQ seriously.  

I've been to chili cook-off competitions, and I've even been a contestant cook in a few.  This was different.  Maybe it was just the timing... I got there around 4pm, and the meat turn-in time was 5pm, so all the cooks were in a mad dash to get their entries delivered to the judges table. So there was a feeling of chaos in the air.  Each little campsite space had a metal fencing around it.  The cook teams were inside and some were already starting their own little private parties.  It was not an atmosphere of "hey, how are you? What's your name... pull up a chair and try some of our ribs"  This was more like a BBQ cook-off at Disneyland.  There were thousands of spectators just walking around admiring the cooking rigs, and trying to muscle into the big corporate tents for free samples of things.

I was looking for colorful people... characters to photograph.  Usually at events like this, there are lots of them.  This time... not so much.  The first interesting looking person that I saw was a vendor selling hats.  I asked him if I could take his picture, and he warned me in a distinctly East Texas twang that he'd probably break the camera if I did.  

I played around a little with the image when I got home using Photoshop, and decided I didn't like the background much, so I did a composite image, where I cut him out of the picture, and inserted him into a background photo that I took a few weeks ago along the Cibolo Creek in Comal County.  I added a few color adjustments, and was very happy with the Texas Flavored Portrait that came out of it.

The only other good portrait that I liked was a gentleman who caught my attention because he was wearing an English derby hat.  (Everyone else was wearing the mandatory cowboy hat)  He had an interesting face, and I took the shot while peeking through the fence as he was talking to a girl.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.  

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