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  • Betty Girardeau

The End Is Always the Hardest


I really hate to see these workshops come to a close. These days of immersive photography challenges and learning are amazing. And it's not just what I learn, but also the places I have gone to, experiences I have had that would not have happened, certainly not as easily, and the new friends I have met have added so much to my life. Tomorrow midday I board a plane and head back east again where I will have to get back into the old routine. But what a wonderful, though certainly super busy, week this has been. Missoula is a lovely little city with so much to offer. They have a spectacular Farmer's Market, a lovely and thriving down town, and lots of, to me a green horn easterner, new experiences. Not the least of them was my first rodeo. Any of you photographers reading this can well imagine the challenge of trying to get good action shots. But at a rodeo that challenge is greater than the average for most other sports because all the action literally happens in the space of minutes, sometimes seconds. For someone used to taking pictures of things that are more or less stationary it can seem impossible. So I was more than a little thrilled to actually get some halfway decent images our night at the rodeo on Friday. My shots would have been better had I brought my Nikon with its 70mm-300mm lens. That is a lot of camera weight to tote around, even just to travel with it in a suitcase. So I made the decision to leave it at home and work with the telephoto lens I have for my Olympus mirrorless camera. This was only one event out of a week of camera event opportunities that I would have really needed this big lens anyway. But I still had a bit of remorse seeing the images other workshop participants were able to get with their bigger ones. Nevertheless, I was generally pleased with the images I got this week, several hundred them. And I certainly learned a lot in the process, too, even taking most of my shots in manual mode rather than aperture and mixing up the iso settings more often than I ever have done. Our group of participants were all so talented and all of us got along really well with each other, which is not always the case. It was a great week that went too fast. And it is hard to realize that, after looking forward to this for almost two years, it is over. But at least I already have another workshop scheduled for next April in Italy. Now if we can just get this Covid virus under control...please.

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