A couple of weeks ago I went to the shooting range with two of my sons and one of my daughters. We don’t get to go often but we enjoy shooting when we can. While we were at the rifle range a few guys showed up with some serious weaponry, including the Barrett M82 shown above. I don’t know why anyone would bother to own any .50 BMG but each to his own. Everyone at the range stopped to watch some rounds being fired out of that gun. After shooting a few rounds each, the owner turned to all of us and asked if anyone would like to shoot it. I thought for about 10 milliseconds and said “Ummm, yeah!”. I offered to pay for the round (about $5 each) but he declined and said that everyone should get one free round. My son and I each fired off a round as did a couple of others. Frankly, due to the design of the gun, the recoil was no worse than the .30-06 I was shooting. What a rush. My daughter was too chicken to give it a try despite several attempts by the owner to talk her into it.
Later we let one of the guys shoot a few rounds in our lane at the pistol range. He was shooting a .50 caliber pistol — a Desert Eagle — and let me shoot that one too. “Hold tight” were his only words 🙂 I couldn’t believe the weight of the gun even with only a single round loaded. Fun.
I brought the camera along mainly because I wanted to take pictures of my 7-year-old at the range. We got some interesting shots of my daughter shooting the 9mm too. It turned out to be nice to have it along for the shot above too (taken by my son).
People who have really “lived” have fascinating stories to tell. Some are fascinating just because they took place in such a different time than we live in (back when people walked barefoot through the snow, uphill both ways, to get to school). Others are remarkable because of the people they involve. You know, those stories about someone they knew or befriended as children who eventually became someone famous, maybe an important political figure or famous athlete. Many of their stories are of interest because they took place before so much of our culture became so sissified…back when kids were allowed to climb trees without signing waivers and lawyers weren’t hanging around everywhere like vultures.
“Bearpa” is shown above telling stories to my wife and a couple of the kids by the fire one evening. We recently spent a (cold) weekend camping on their ranch while we hunted for deer. Between hunts and during meals Bearpa shared many stories of interest to all. He’s a wise man and imparted much of his wisdom and knowledge — about hunting and life in general — to all of us.
I only had the camera out here and there (was busy hunting and skinning myself) but when I did it was usually in very low light. I used 1600 ISO most of the time yet some shots were still very challenging. If I left the camera in “normal” metering mode it overexposed much of the image since so much of the background was dark. So, I switched to partial metering (which on the Canon 50D is essentially spot metering using 9% of the center of the frame) and this allowed me to expose based on the brightest portion of the frame and keep it from being blown out. I also used an exposure bias of -1/2 all the way to -3/2. Notice how the picture of Bearpa beginning to skin a deer has deep black shadows in the background and how he himself is just a tad underexposed. This captures the scene perfectly in my opinion. This was taken out in a barn late at night, and the slightly underexposed picture reflects this. I cleaned up the night shots with Noiseware, which works magnificently.
Due to my back pain (this was pre-surgery) I was limited on how much I could twist, turn, and get into good positions but I did manage a few other shots. The trophy wall below is an HDR from 6 exposures and the one from in the blind was taken with my iPhone.