Wagin Woolarama 2016 by Paul Amyes on
Women’s barrel racing at the Wagin Woolarama Rodeo. Olympus E-M1 with OLYMPUS M.40-150mm F2.8, exposure: /1/2000s, ƒ/4.0 at ISO 200.

If you believe the online forums you can only shoot action or sport with a Canon EOS 1d X or a Nikon 4D with very expensive f2.8 lenses. At the very least you should be using a Nikon 500d or Canon EOS 7d Mkii because it is impossible to use anything else. I have to say this is like most things written by the denizens of photography forums complete and utter rubbish.


boddington rodeo by Paul Amyes on
Boddington Rodeo 2005. Canon EOS 300d with Canon EF 75-300mm f3.5-5.6 IS lens.

I started photographing rodeo with a Canon EOS 300d and an EF 75-300mm f3.5-5.6 IS lens. Hardly state of the art sports equipment back in 2005. The buffer for RAW was 6 frames and it did a massive 3fps and there was no continuous auto focus when shooting RAW – you could only get that in the sports picture mode which then limited you to shooting jpg.

Matt, El Caballo’s Extreme Rodeo compere tries his hand at bronco riding with catastrophic results. Canon EOS 5D with Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 IS. Exposure: 1/1/500s, ƒ/7 at ISO 800.

The next big jump up was the Canon EOS 5d. Again no sports shooting, terrible buffer, slow frame rate and apparently the AF couldn’t cope with anything but a slow walking bride on a bright day.

Wagin Woolarama 2016 by Paul Amyes on
Women’s barrel racing at the Wagin Woolarama Rodeo. E-M1 with OLYMPUS M.40-150mm F2.8 lens. Exposure: 1/1250s, ƒ/4.0 at ISO 200.

Today we have the advent of mirrorless cameras. The cognoscenti say that only a DSLR with an optical viewfinder can capture action, mirrorless cameras cannot and will not do it. Well as I said at the beginning there is a lot of rubbish spouted on photography forums. I follow Nike’s advice – “Just Do It!”


Chichester Cathedral
Chichester Cathedral, West Sussex, England. Olympus OM2n with Sigma 28mm f2.8 lens with Cokin Pink Graduated filter. Fujichrome 100. 1986.

I lived in Chichester, West Sussex, for 16 years and the cathedral was an ever-present presence. It has dominated the town and much of the surrounding countryside for nearly a thousand years and from the moment I took up photography I tried unsuccessfully to capture its likeness. Each time I tried I felt I got nowhere near what I felt it meant to me. I left England in 1988 and moved to Australia, but I continue to visit as I have friends and family there. Each time I visit Chichester I have another crack at the Cathedral


Chichester Cathedral
Chichester Cathedral viewed from the behind the gates of the Deanery. Chichester, West Sussex, England. Olympus OM4 with Olympus Zuiko 35-105mm lens. Fujichrome 100. Scanned and converted to black and white using SilverEfx. 1991.


The pictures here represent several attempts over the years from the mid 1980’s Cokin filter phase to the start of the digital revolution in 2007.  I have more, older and more recent (I figured there’s a limit to many I can post!) but none of them capture what I think is the essence of the building.


England 2007
Chichester Cathedral, West Sussex, England. 2007 Canon EOS 300D DIGITAL with Sigma 18.0-50.0 mm f2.8 EX lens with circular polarizing filter.


The problem is that I am too familiar with it. I have a picture in my mind’s eye of what I think it should look like and that preconceived idea prevents me from exploring the possibilities. Next time I visit I’m going to have to put aside my preconceptions and actually work on getting the shot.


Old Skool

Mary is the tree spirit that lives in the wandoo forest outside of York, Western Australia. Canon EOS300d, Canon EF18-55 lens, 550EX speedlite.

The other day I was rootling around in the darker recesses of my photo files when I came upon this image. I remember taking it very clearly, this painted tree is visible from  the York road and as I set up my camera on its tripod people driving thought I must have been operating a speed camera and slowed down as they passed. The shot was taken on my first dSLR, a Canon EOS300d with its kit lens and a 550EX speedlite. Prehistoric equipment in today’s terms. Only 6Mp, a sensor that should be used above 400 ISO, and features that were serious crippled so as not to steal sales from the Canon EOS10d. Why did I buy the camera? Well it was the first sub $2000 AUD dSLR in Australia. Now you can get so much more for $500. Technology marches on at a relentless pace. Seeing this shot made me get the camera out again, and just for old times sake I shot the photos of the cameras in last weeks blog entry with it. Processing them in Lightroom was a revelation, they came up looking quite good. So I went back to the original RAW file for Mary and processed it Lightroom and finished off in Snapseed. The result was much better than when I first processed it using Canon RAW processor and Photoshop Elements 4. It just goes to show that newer software can breathe new life into older images. I’ve decided to keep the 300d out for a while longer and shoot stuff for the web with it.

As always clicking on the photo will take you through to my gallery.