I was driven more out of curiosity rather than photography. What was it like to see big guys throwing heavy things? I was also there to support my friend who invited me. He’s been working out to prepare for the Highland Games, sort of a Scottish Olympics.
The 95 degree plus day in Pflugerville, Texas is hardly Scottish, weather wise, but the big guys in kilts did their best to uphold tradition. There were 6 or so events with various heavy items thrown for height or distance. But it’s more than sheer strength. Technique matters to where a comparably smaller person, with the optimal form, can do quite well. Ultimately however, it’s those super huge guys with the correct dance and spin that can hurl 40 pound objects quite far.
I brought my younger son with me, he too seem curious about this whole thing. I made it into a father and son outing, which is great because I can do stuff with my family and still shoot photographs.
I attached the Canon 6D to my white Canon 70 – 200 f4 IS lens, for the very first time. It made for a really nice combination. One of my best lenses on a new full frame camera. I was most interested in the shallow depth of field and to check out the bokeh, the quality of out of focus areas. Although this camera – lens combo is my biggest and heaviest, certainly much more than the dainty Olympus Pens by comparison, my photo equipment was nothing compared to the heavy stuff chucked around at the games.
My recently jettisoned 7D would have come in handy with its snappy 8 frames per second — the 6D, a sluggish frame rate at half the speed. This meant that I had to time things better or get lucky to capture the best poses. Focus speed was no problem since, unlike say Soccer, the guys weren’t running around. I experimented with 1/4000 of a second shutter to stop the action. Probably overkill.
I wasn’t in full photography mode though, taking more casual snaps. As you know shooting in broad day light, at high noon, is the antithesis of my type of photography. Where are the cool lights, the moody dark shadows and the architectural lines? There is no mystery. No pulse of a big city. I am vampire like as you know, preferring night photography or stuff indoors. But it’s nice to mix it up and get out there in the bright sunlight. And it was certainly a pleasure to get shots of my friend in action and to visit with his wife for a couple of hours. Overall, a relaxing way to speed a Saturday afternoon.
Click on the photographs to see a larger image and hover over the photos to see the exposure detail.