Tag Archives: Benton County Fair and Rodeo

Mounted Shooting

Benton County Rodeo - Mounted Shooting - 2013-2Over the last few years I’ve had a chance to shoot some rodeo and it’s been a heck of a lot of fun.  But on Saturday – while shooting over at the Benton County (Fair &) Rodeo – they had an event new to me – mounted shooting.

And, yes, I was completely out of position (should have been on the other end of the arena for this course) – but I’m really looking forward to trying it again.

That said – it’s not often that you see a rodeo queen with a single action Colt .45.  Yep – that’s Nicole Schrock, the current Miss Rodeo Oregon, trying her hand at mounted shooting.

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And another one.

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BTW – if gear is your thing (or if you’re mulling teleconverters)– here’s a possible data point for you – I shot the entire afternoon with a Canon 1.4x teleconverter on a 70-200 f/4L.  There was plenty of action and plenty of light making it was a great combination.  Of course, the teleconverter will drop you a stop – equivalent of f/5.6.  Only once or twice did the autofocus refuse to cooperate – but more likely due to operator error.  And, if you’ve read this far – you might find it interesting that this isn’t the latest version – I was able to pick up a used second generation 1.4x over at Adorama.

Saturday Afternoon at the Rodeo

Headed on out to the Benton County (Fair &) Rodeo on Saturday to shoot a few photos.

Have I mentioned before that I think Team Roping is probably the most difficult rodeo event to shoot?  If so – let me say it again…

And – the last shot?  Well – that’s from the last ride of the weekend – an 84 point performance by Charlie Skidgel on Disco Dog – to take it all home.  One heck of a performance.

So – in no particular order – here you go.

“Back Stage”

Benton County Rodeo - 2011 - for the blog-1Just never know exactly what you’re going to get when you aim a lens at steer wrestlers.  Really a lot of fun to photograph.

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Saddle broncBenton County Rodeo - 2011 - for the blog-4 Team Roping

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A little barrel racing (and a little fun with a longer exposure). Benton County Rodeo - 2011 - for the blog-10 Bull Riding.

Benton County Rodeo - 2011 - for the blog-13 Benton County Rodeo - 2011 - for the blog-16

And – well – since you stuck around this long – I thought maybe I’d pass along something I tried on Saturday that I think worked pretty well.

As it turns out – it’s not always easy to keep track of what order riders actually ride (for example – Chase was third on the list for bull riders – but he rode last).  Often – a quick snapshot of the scoreboard before or after the ride will help – but – at small rodeos like this one – there’s no scoreboard.  On Saturday – I happen to put a small Zoom H2 on a Gorillapod and wrapped it onto a fence and just let it run for the length of the show – just for fun.  It not only delivered a great soundtrack – but I used it to confirm the rider / bull combo for the 84 point ride.

10 Rodeo Images from 2010

This last month has simply been a traffic jam at the intersection of “full time dude-in-a-cube” and “holidays” and “part time photography” – and the blog has been a bit neglected.  Sorry ‘bout that.

And it’s not that I haven’t been thinking about photography (and you folks).  Actually – quite the opposite.  It’s just that I haven’t been typing all that much on the blog.  But you should see my notebook!  (lots of scribbles) There are also a few more books (and ebooks) and pieces of gear to review – but I guess that will all need to wait until next year – when I’ll hopefully get this corner of the blog-o-sphere tidied up a bit.

And that brings me to the post at hand – long time readers of Camera 47 know that I’m a fan of year-end Top 10 lists – especially when it comes to the challenge of distilling down a year’s worth of photos to a critical few.  Well – I’m going to stick to my formula of giving you two lists – one of rodeo images – and one for everything else.  So – in no particular – here are 10 rodeo images from 2010 that I thought stood out a bit more than the others.

Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know what you think.   Benton County Rodeo - a few for blog - low res-1for blog - sRGB-3PFR - Thursday - quickly low res-1bw-1Benton County Rodeo - a few for blog - low res-4

PFR - Thursday - quickly low res-2PFR - Sunday - low res-6

JJ horse - sRGB-1

bareback - sRGB-1

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Benton County Rodeo 2010

Benton County Rodeo - a few for blog - low res-1Had a chance to shoot a little rodeo on Saturday afternoon.  And while I was out there – I worked on a some things – such as a few new angles (for me) – and some panning.

Benton County Rodeo - a few for blog - low res-5For example – I typically don’t sit near the start of the roping events (nor to the side – for that matter) – and during tie down and breakaway you’ll most likely find me at the far end of the arena – shooting straight on – but Saturday afternoon – that’s exactly where I was sitting.  And I was close enough to the action that the 70-200mm was too long.  So – I worked with the 17-55mm – and some panning techniques.

As for the panning – I should have re-read my notes / exif data from the Philomath rodeo.  For some reason – caught up in the moment – I set the shutter speed at 1/20 – instead of something better suited to horses – say near 1/40 or 1/50.  As it turns out – while panning cars or bikes or even people – the motion of travel is relatively smooth.  With horses – not only are they moving straight ahead – but they also jostle up and down – adding to the challenge.  I’m still middlin’ on the image below – but I include it here to show my homework.

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And speaking of the 17-55mm – it’s been a great lens (picked it up shortly before Willamette Celebration) – and hopefully I’ll cobble together a review in the not too distant future.  That said – it’s not a perfect lens (is there a “perfect” lens?) –but, so far, I’ve really enjoyed shooting it.  It’s sharp, focuses reasonably fast, and the images look great.  On the 50D – I really appreciate the 17mm.

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10 Rodeo Photos from 2009

Well – it’s that time of year for “Top 10” lists – so I thought I’d get it started with a little rodeo.

Images are from the Philomath Frolic & Rodeo and the Benton County Rodeo.  These are listed in no particular order.  Hope you enjoy them.

2009 PFR - low res - fun-11

2009 PFR - low res - fun-12 2009 PFR - low res - fun-10benton county rodeo 2009 - low res-1 benton county rodeo 2009 - low res-2benton county rodeo 2009 - low res-4benton county rodeo 2009 - low res-3

steer wrestling - top 10 - low res-1

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Benton County Rodeo 2009

benton county rodeo 2009 - low res-1 The Benton County Rode0 is part of the Benton County Fair – and both wrapped up Saturday.  I typically don’t make it over to fairs – but I thought I’d brave a hot, dusty Saturday afternoon and shoot a little rodeo.  Nothing fancy here – no “all access” at this gig – I paid $8 and shot from the crowd – which also meant that I left the cowboy hat at home (by the way – CNN had a great short video on photographers covering rodeos – you can find it here).benton county rodeo 2009 - low res-2

A couple of quick impressions: (1) the arena is smaller than the Philomath Frolic and Rodeo – which is good for photography – it’s definitely easier to shoot the action with a  modest lens and (2) as this rodeo is tied to the fair – I think it introduces folks to rodeos who might not otherwise go – a sort of 2-for-1.benton county rodeo 2009 - low res-3

Bottom line: Good rodeo action – and – if you get the chance – Tillamook Ice Cream milkshakes.  Blackberry.  Seriously – very good.

Photos in order: (1) bareback (2) JJ Harrison – a great barrelman (a.k.a. “rodeo clown”) (3)  tie down roping and (4) steer wrestling.benton county rodeo 2009 - low res-4