Monday, February 25, 2013

The Scottish Highlands In Florida

My photography group decided to attend the 18th Annual Northeast Florida Scottish Highland Games which held a great deal of excitement for me, both as a photographer and a McKenzie. There was a lot to see and I enjoyed every moment. As usual click each photo for a better view.

A good number of Police Associations take part as Scottish band members. This rather serious looking guy is a drummer from the Clay County Pipes and Drums Corp. He was practicing and noticed that I was taking his picture.

Of course bag pipes are a major item in the event, and I had no idea that they had to be tuned. I spent a great deal of time watching as each bagpipe was put through it's paces to get the right sound.

I also learned that drummers are the ones who add flair in addition to keeping a beat. The drummer's flair is based on how they are able to swing around the stick as they strike the drum.This group was also practicing in anticipation of the big arena march where all the clans march and is the highlight of the event.

I really liked the look of this drum major who seemed very majestic as he led his group.

I guess I followed him around so much that he finally asked someone to take a picture of me with him. So much for being a stalker... I mean groupie!

There were all kinds of competitions, but one of the exciting events for me was the weight throw. I found this guy an interesting subject because he had a Mohawk which added to the mystic. Here he is preparing to throw the weight over a bar above him. Everyone seemed to have a particular style that involved lifting the kilt to throw the weight!

I really liked this shot because there are a number of contrasts: the Mohawk guy, the weight lifting guy with his back to the camera, and the big guy in the background deciding what he is going to do.

Kilts were everywhere and this Kilt wearer in training caught my eye. He seemed right at home and plans to work on his weightlifting.

There was also a demonstration of sheep herding by a group of very eager dogs. They put spoiled  Sunny-Girl  to shame as they appeared glad to perform their job and kept the sheep contained to a limited area.

And then the big event: The march in of the clans! This drum major was as majestic as the previous subject as he brought in the clans.

It was a sound to end all sounds as the bands marched in to the sound of hundreds of bagpipes and drums. It filled the entire arena right up to the rafters and made your heart pound and your feet want to dance a jig. It truly was amazing!

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