So, here we are in 2011, a new year. I hope it will be a happy, healthy and prosperous one for all of my readers.

I normally stay home on New Year’s Eve, but stay up long enough to watch the ball drop in Times Square at midnight. I went to bed earlier this time, though, as I’ve been working overtime at the office and wanted to get in early on Saturday. I’d planned to get to bed by 10:30 p.m. so I could get up around 4:30 a.m., but I didn’t actually get to bed until a bit after 11:30.

Then I was kept awake after what I assume was midnight. Firecrackers began to sound in the distance, but what was really bad was that some major asshole nearby was blasting some kind of loud horn outside (and I mean LOUD). I think I heard somebody shout out to him to stop the racket, but that didn’t stop him. All that I did was see myself in my mind picking up and aiming a rifle, pulling the trigger and watching the imbecile’s head explode as the bullet struck. He eventually went away, but then came back and blew the horn so loud that I actually jumped when roused from my slumber!

I got up around 4:30 anyway.

During the day on Friday I put the finishing touches on a CD of photos to send in to B&W magazine for its annual portfolio competition. I got a Bronze Award recently in the magazine’s single image competition (see here), so I figured that I’d try sending in some portfolios, too.

One of the portfolios I submitted was my series of photographs of archers in competition during the Tosho-gu Grand Festival in Nikko, Japan, in 2005. I think I have a total of 14 photos, so I had to scan all but two of those negatives, two having been scanned previously.

At the top you can one of those previously unscanned images. As I’ve explained before, there was no way I could get a sharp picture, as I had to focus manually on a man riding a horse running at full gallop. Even if I could maintain focus, there wasn’t enough light to get a fast enough shutter speed to stop motion.

Therefore, I resorted to the pan and blur technique of following along with the subject in the viewfinder as it moves across. Most of the photos I shot were of the horse and rider pretty much right in front of me. The photo at the top here is different, though, as the subjects were still off to my left. They were even far off away for me to capture the horses legs in motion. I kind of like it – and hopefully this post will help my photography get off to a fast start this year!

As I've written in my last few posts, I'm in the process of switching my blog over to Wordpress. You can see my post there at:

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