It’s that time of year when I like to look back on the year that just closed and try to distill a set of “best of”. As I had the chance to shoot a bit of rodeo this year – let’s start with a few of those.
So – in no particular order – here you go.
The Polk County Fair and Rodeo – not only did it produce more good barrel racing images than the bronc events – but the bull riding images were some of the best from the night. I often don’t shoot straight into the gate – but on this evening it worked well. And like the barrels – the light + dirt were nice compliments.
As I mentioned over on the Camera 47 FB page – it’s an odd day when I get more barrel racing keepers than from the bronc events. But that’s exactly what happened up at the Polk County Fair – rodeo provided by Wild West Events, Inc. It was mostly an evening of rough stock (bareback bronc, saddle bronc, and bull riding) – but there was also some barrel racing – and just for fun – some mutton busting.
All too often, I can get into a groove (rut?) when shooting rodeo – mostly because I have a preferred location (or two) for each event. But while up at Polk County, to be honest, I was a little out of sorts. It was a pretty small arena but for the horse racing segment – I happened to be outside the arena near what is often the 1st barrel (depending on the rider’s preferred pattern) – and in between some gulps of water – tried for a few images. The dust + low light were great elements to work with.
This trip to the rodeo was also the first gig with the new camera. I’m digging it – but I’m still trying to dial in the nuances. Hopefully, more on that later.
In no particular order – here’s a few barrel racing images from the evening:
Had a chance to shoot the Philomath Frolic and Rodeo last weekend. And just for fun – I thought I’d change it up a bit. So, here you go, in no particular order – some of the top dismounts I was able to put on film.
Two frames before the image below – you’ll see this fellow in a near swan dive. Unfortunately, it’s not a very usable image. Still – I thought this one worked well, too.
These little guys took some spills, too.
OK – so it wasn’t entirely an unplanned dismount.
Can’t have a list like this without a bull rider.
Is it too late for a “2014 Best of” post? Hopefully this one is only arriving “casually late”.
That said, regardless of your photography experience, I think it’s a good practice to go through your photos periodically and choose a few that you consider to be among the best. The transition from December to January provides, if nothing else, a convenient marker.
So, in no particular order, here are a few from my 2014 archive.
This is arguably my best Milky Way image. More details here.
From a quick trip up to Mt St Helens – here’s an image of the edge of the crater that I’d posted over on the Facebook page.
And there I was standing on the Morrison Bridge (trying to get an image for the Bite of Oregon) when the bridge went up. I also posted a number of images from that gig over on the Camera 47 Facebook page.
From the Harrisburg Harvest Festival and Tractor Pull. More images from that afternoon can be found here.
Who would have thought that fisheye lenses and historic bombers were a great combination? More images of this B-17 can be found here.
2014 was the year that I learned about the IR72 filter + X100s. More details can be found here.
Happened to be in San Francisco for business and brought the X100s along. This is a panorama cobbled together from a series of handheld images.
Could I really have an annual list of photos and not have a rodeo image?
Or some hot air balloon photos?
Just playing. This photo can also be found over on my Exposure.co site.
Had a chance to shoot some Polar Plunges for Oregon Special Olympics. The Portland event had a group of Super Plungers that ran once an hour for 24 hours into the very chilly Columbia River. I posted a number of photos from my time with the Super Plungers over on the Camera 47 Facebook page.
Just a bit of flooding here in Corvallis.
More Viking! At the Bend Polar Plunge. More images from my trip to Bend can be found here.
The debut of Saddle Shop over the summer. You can see more from this gig over at Exposure.co.
Was looking for a vintage-feeling portrait for this one that connected the student, his school, and sport.
At the county fair for a dance performance and happened to have the X100s + IR72 filter with me. Really dug the architecture + sun + colors on this one. I thought the combination provided an unexpected industrial feel.
Our dog was waiting for a bit of beef jerky in some pretty strong light with shadow.
Christmas morning sunrise over Fish Lake just outside Leavenworth, WA. Not sure what created all of the sparkles speckles. I’m guessing it was a really dirty filter. Then, again, it was Christmas morning.
Last week I shared a few from the Roping & Racing events. This week – rough stock.
As it turns out, it was also an odd weekend for the bull riders as no one made it the full 8 seconds. Good riders – just better bulls.
That’s Bullfighter Cody Harsch.
More Bull Riding
It’s always a great challenge to look back on a year’s collection and to trim to a list of the best. It’s an exercise I recommend to every photographer out there. That said, the extra challenge is to get that list to only 10 photos. Well, I almost made it this year – I trimmed this one to 11.
So, in no particular order, here’s my 2013 list with a bit on each addition.
This first photo is from a children’s church group singing at a convalescence home. It was a very sweet moment with folks stepping out of their rooms to hear the children sing Christmas carols in the hall.
Once I saw these two barns – I just wanted to figure out a way to get the photo. This is one of those rare images where (if I remember correctly) I was thinking black and white from the onset.
In 2013 I had the opportunity to shoot two Polar Plunge events for Oregon Special Olympics. This next photo is from the Corvallis event. Initially I was torn between two photos for this list: “dynamic splash” and “pink tutu’s”. You can see which one I chose.
This was from the 2013 Photo Walk here in Corvallis. It’s probably safe to presume that it took me over a hundred images to get this one.
In the very next moment, this bull fighter found himself in the air (but my very next frame only had the legs of the bullfighter visible – I was zoomed in too far on the scene to get all of him in the air).
The Lover’s Bridge in Danshui, Taiwan. This is one of those rare images where I actually pre-visualized the final result. Some folks are really good at that – I’m not.
Jiufen, Taiwan is a great little market town. Fortunately while we were there we were treated to this epic rain.
Street opera in Tainan, Taiwan. I like how this image shows the proximity of the street to the opera.
Hot air balloon festival. Another image here on the list with strong architectural elements.
Sheep nor shearing are typically on my list of favorite images. But, I liked this moment along with the lighting, color, and texture.
Mt Hood in the clouds. It wasn’t long after this image that the mountain was completely obscured by the incoming weather.
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.