For the 45 of you that have my 2012 CowParade Austin calendar, today you probably flipped it over to the month of August and saw the photo above and then thought that you’d head over to my web site to find out more about “Miss August”.
This cow is named “Got Color?”, the artist is Robert R. (Bob) Jones, and the financial sponsor was Milton Verret. Got Color? was on public display in east Austin on Angelina St. (approx. 6 blocks east of I-35) between East 11th St. and East 12th St. at the George Washington Carver Museum.
I wish that I could tell you more about this cow, or about Bob Jones, but my investigations have pretty much come up empty-handed. Even at the CowParade Austin website, which is still up and running, hovering your mouse over the “About” link, and the selecting “Artists” from the resultant drop-down menu, doesn’t help much. It lists Bob’s website as www.artfor.org, but that site seems to be a placeholder for future use. Google and Bing searches do not turn up anything, either. It’s almost as if he doesn’t really exist….
That’s too bad, as I really wanted to give Bob credit for his beautiful artwork. Of all 74 CowParade Austin cows, this one is probably my favorite!
Dad and I had a list of several cows that we wanted to hunt down and shoot that day, and this was the 5th one that we got to late in the morning of August 20, 2011. It was 10:55 AM, and I did my usual custom white balance setting in the camera (using a neutral gray card), and then taking a photo of the ColorChecker Passport – just to make sure the colors were correct in post processing.
Obviously, with a cow named Got Color?, I knew that I had to get them all displayed correctly!
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As you can see by the hard shadow, the sun was almost directly above us, with the left side of the cow in direct sunlight, and the right side of the cow in shadows. The cow was positioned in the middle of a large area of stark concrete walkway. I think that helped the lighting on the cow, as the sidewalk was acting like a giant bounce card!
All of these photos were taken with the camera on my sturdy Gitzo tripod. I was shooting in Aperture Priority mode, the ISO was set to 100, and I was using the 24-105mm f/4.0 lens with a circular polarizer.
I really liked how the cow’s tail was a paint brush. Check out that rainbow udder!
Since the right side of the cow was the shady side, I did use my 580 EX II speedlite on the camera (oh no!) as a fill flash.
The fill flash did cause a hotspot reflection on the shoulder of the cow in the above photo.
OK, now that I had circled the cow once, it was time to get “artistic”, so I got down low, zoomed the lens to 35mm, and took my favorite shot of the series.
To get the maximum depth of field (front to back in focus), I set the aperture to f/22, which resulted in a rather slow shutter of 1/15th of a second, even in the bright summer sunlight. That was fine with me, since I was using a tripod.
The photo above is the one that I chose to put in my calendar. Since it was near the end of the month of August when I took the photo, and for no other reason, that’s why she ended up as “Miss August”.
There were a few smaller details on this cow that I thought were particularly clever, so I moved in closer to photograph them. I kept the aperture at f/22 for the next two shots.
Behind the cow’s left ear, was a crayon sharpener!
And behind the cow’s right ear was another type, which looks like an old pencil sharpener – with a razor blade to shave the pencil to a point.
Lastly, I took the requisite photo of the cow’s name plate at 11:08 AM, just 14 minutes after arriving at the museum.
I don’t have much else to add, other than to state once again that this was one of my favorite cows of the entire heard!