Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Get Ready, Get Set...

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The staging area for our edition of the World Naked Bile Ride was a parking lot, much too small for the crowd that showed up. The cyclists spilled out into the adjacent street. No one had a clear idea as to which way to turn. The resulting anarchy seemed quite fitting for the occasion. There was something about the whole scene that kept reminding me of the first verse of Bob Dylan's Desolation Row

The ride goes out onto the street tomorrow.                          

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Permission Granted

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At the Maine Media Workshops, where I received my photography training, they drill one principle into you: ask permission. On the other hand, at least in this country, the law holds that if you are out on the street, you have no expectation of privacy from photographers as long as the picture isn't used for commercial purposes. Fine art, whatever that means, is always ok.

I asked for and received permission to take these pictures. A few people declined. When that happens I say no problem, that's why I ask, and the potential subject is appreciative. Later Saturday night, when the ride passed in front of the Arch, someone screamed at me for taking pictures, someone who was whizzing through a downtown street wearing, I presume, not much. (I never saw her).

I've got a tee shirt from a Diane Arbus exhibition with one of her most famous quotes across the back: one of the risks of appearing in public is the likelihood of being photographed. Should have worn it but didn't.                        

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Sunday, July 28, 2013


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The local edition of the World Naked Bike Ride passed through The Lou last night. Its web site says that it "is part of an international event to protest oil dependency, raise awareness of cyclist rights and vulnerability on the road, and promote positive body image." I think most people were there just for the daring fun of it, and though the pro-bike anti-fossil fuel folk were well represented.

I last shot this in 2009. More to come, but I will have to be very careful how I edit these.                     

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Canada Will Rock You

Last report from Canada. Calgary says it will rock you, whatever that means. If somebody rocked me I might call the police.

Now back to STL pix. There are rumors of nearly-naked people appearing on South Grand Boulevard tonight. Your intrepid reporter will cover the story. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

I Wanna Rock And Roll All Night

Another act from the evening show in Calgary, a Kiss tribute band, as they are called these days. I never rock and rolled all night even when I was young enough to try. And party every day? That's why I go to work, isn't it?

Tomorrow will have the last shots from Alberta, although I could go on for days more. Strange things are afoot in The Lou Saturday night.                     

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Piano Wire

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One of the features at the Stampede's evening show was an Elton John-type act with a difference. The piano and performer hung by wires from heavy cables, suspended between the stage and the top of the grandstand. It was, I'd guess, 10 or 15 m off the ground. The performer must have had deep trust in the engineers.

I think he was playing Bennie And The Jets, but I confess that at times I was paying more attention to the images than the performance.                         

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

TransAlta Show

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After the chuckwagon races, a great day at the Calgary Stampede ends with the TransAlta Grandstand Show. Carolyn and I have never witnessed anything like it. The 90 minute extravaganza far surpasses anything we've seen in Las Vegas.

A large, complex stage on wheels is towed into the rodeo area. Then there is one brilliant act after another, accompanied by blazing lights, lasers and explosions of fire. This pair of acrobats was jaw dropping. I must be candid with my readers, though, and confess that my abdominal muscles don't look anything like this.

I'll do some posts on individual acts, but there are local events in the wings.                             

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chuckwagon Races

Back to Calgary. One of the popular rodeo-ish events is the chuckwagon races. These were vehicles used to prepare food for cowboys on long cattle drives. Today's versions closely resemble the old ones, down to the special oven they carry in the back. They come in from the right, do this complicated figure 8 pattern around barrels, then swoop back out where they came from and do a full lap around the track. The get penalties of so many seconds for not doing something exactly right. I never really got it, although they probably wouldn't understand the subtleties of skateboarding on moving NY subway cars like I did in my teens. Pick your own excitement.                            

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Detour, But It's OK

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I was going to run some pictures of the Calgary chuckwagon races but I didn't have any time to edit yesterday. Had to go to work for a while. In the late afternoon and evening there was a baby shower for our daughter Emily, who is soon to have our first grandchild. So voila, la famille Crowe. Me, Em, Carolyn and Andy. All very happy.   

There will be a feature about this venue in a week or so.                                 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Portraits Of Native Canadians 2

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More of the same series. I don't know which one is my favorite. These people are beautiful and proud of their heritage.

There are still more in the Flickr set from the trip. I could post yet another day of this but maybe it's time to move on.                    

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Portraits Of Native Canadians 1

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Back at the Stampede. There was an area called the Indian Village, where indigenous peoples live during the event. They put on a performance and dance competition that went on for an hour and a half, set in a small grassy amphitheater. I moved around the lawn, taking, well, um, about a thousand shots. Tough light and viewpoint conditions, I swear.

As I started editing, I found that the group pictures I took contained remarkable portraits when I zoomed way in. There will be a second set of these tomorrow.

Note the mix of new and old in the last photo.                        

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Friday, July 19, 2013

A Final Walk Around

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A few last shots from downtown Calgary.

There was a professional photographer taking pictures of the iconic gnome of Travelocity, the travel booking web site. We first saw him up on the observation deck, shooting the gnome against the skyline. Here he is again at the ticket desk on the ground, where he was kind enough to let me use his Pocket Wizard and lighting rig. We also spotted him and his assistant on top of an office building across the street. For a while they had the doll on the top of the wall, where I was certain it would fall 20 or 30 stories and kill someone.

7th Avenue downtown is the center of Calgary's excellent light rail system, the C Train. Otherwise, it's a bit spotty. A shop owner made a comment on the impending arrival of QE II's great grandchild. The train itself carries amusing advertising for Dos Equis Mexican beer.

Finally, another office tower goes up, with parody fine art at street level.

I have many more images from the Stampede I've just started to edit.  STL DPB will feature the Native Canadian area for the next couple of days.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Last Day In Calgary

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Home by late tonight. We had an afternoon free in Calgary yesterday so we did what most of the tourists do, ride up the Calgary Tower. It's not quite as high as the St. Louis Arch (we win) but provides a sweeping view of the city. Who wants to go for a really high dive?

Downtown is definitely bigger and more modern than STL but the architecture is undistinguished. It compares unfavorably with some U.S. cities with a number of newish high rise buildings - Chicago and Seattle come to mind. Still, considering that it's a step and a half from the tundra, it's vibrant.

After we came down from the tower we walked around downtown. Some interesting images of that tomorrow. Still more i have not edited.                 

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