Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ringling Brothers And Barnum & Bailey Circus ...or, Learn From My Mistakes

I've had the opportunity to see the Ringling Brothers circus train roll through town three times in the last month or so. By luck, I've been able to catch it traveling north out of Mojave on its way over the Tehachapi Pass. Because I travel on the freeway faster than the train goes on the rails, I've been able to get home and get my young kids out to the tracks to wave to the circus train as it goes by.

The kids loved seeing the train, so my wife and I knew we also had to go see the Ringling Brothers' circus.

The day of the circus came. Initially I was going to bring my Samsung NX200, but discovered that the batteries were dead or nearly dead. I failed to charge them the night before out of laziness or forgetfulness (or both). So I grabbed my Pentax K-x instead.

It's a 45 minute drive from our home in the hills down to the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield. Once we arrived we found nearby parking for a reasonable price. The parking was on the other side of the tracks from the arena, and a train blocked the road. The city of Bakersfield had thought of this problem and built a pedestrian bridge over the rails. That's where I captured the image below.
CSX Container, BNSF Train - Bakersfield, California
We found our seats without much trouble just as the show was starting. Six rows back and almost center, these were indeed good seats--not just to see the show, but to photograph the show, as well. I felt that there were some good images just waiting for me to capture.

I snapped 16 frames with the K-x DSLR when something happened. Or didn't happen. There was a message on the screen: Memory Card Full. Only the memory card wasn't full.
Horsing Around - Bakersfield, California
A month ago I got the same message with this same camera but with a different memory card . I took the card out and put it back in. I removed the batteries and put them back in. Nothing worked other than reformatting the card, and that would only work for a few frames. The camera just didn't want to record the pictures.

The card was over two years old and well used, so I figured the card was the problem. Now a month later a new card that had been used for less than 200 frames was doing the same thing.
Horse Show - Bakersfield, California
And I didn't have a back-up camera because, well, this was the back-up camera. I had to use the only other camera that I had with me: my cell phone.

Photographing the circus turned out to be just as much of a circus as the circus was. And I was the clown, because I didn't charge the batteries for my preferred camera. Or bring a back-up camera for the back-up camera. I could have brought my Nikon S8100 and still managed good images.

Even so, the cell phone camera did a decent job. Not what I had envisioned before arriving, but all things considered, it did just fine. All of the images below were captured and edited on my phone.
Two Elephants - Bakersfield, California
High Jump - Bakersfield, California
Teeterboarding - Bakersfield, California
Elephant Tricks - Bakersfield, California
Motorcycle Cage #1 - Bakersfield, California
Motorcycle Cage #2 - Bakersfield, California

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