Over 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.
And another one.
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.
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.
Just never know exactly what you’re going to get when you aim a lens at steer wrestlers. Really a lot of fun to photograph.
Saddle bronc Team Roping
A little barrel racing (and a little fun with a longer exposure). Bull Riding.
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.
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.
Had 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.
For 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.