After being assigned to shoot the local area Rodeo for the past few years I have become to some a fixture. “This guy with the camera is okay”, they seem to think as I pass by or pick out my spot on the rail. It can be a tough clic to get into. Photographers can get a bad rap by getting in the way or lurking around where they are not welcome. Even well established pros can be kept at arms length by publishing unflattering photos of cowboys face down on the arena floor or cowgirls in anything but most attractive poses. That’s not to say that I don’t have those shots because I sure do, lots of them. I just don’t publish them. At least I don’t where any Rodeo people would see them. My business card is floating around the Canadian circuit and if I’m going to continue to get requests for prints I will tow the line.
This year the weather didn’t cooperate very much for the three day event. It was dark and cloudy for most of the events and this made sharp clear photos pretty tough. But I did complete my assignment and came up with the photos expected of me. Before and between the events my camera is always on patrol for good images in the crowd and behind the scenes. This year I wasn’t disappointed. My favorite photo came from far away from the arena. A little girl playing on the back of a big truck used to pull a very large horse trailer was by far my best opportunity for a great photo. Lucky me she was willing and her dear mother was just as happy to have her photographed. After I e-mailed her mother copies. As it often happens children make some of the best subjects.
Street photography is an aspect of my professional development that continues to be a work in progress. Snapping candid photos of unsuspecting people on the street is the easy part, capturing a truly interesting and quality photo is where my challenge lingers. Once in a while It just pops up in the view finder like some from the water park series last summer. The Rodeo I shoot every year always provides dozens of good opportunities for good “street photos”.
Knowing that, I look for them between action shots of the cowboys and livestock. It can be easy to find good street photo opps at outdoor gatherings like Rodeos, farmers markets and street fairs. People are generally up beat and in good humor. That alone can be all you need to get your shot. Most dress for the event too, unlike the same people just walking to the car after a trip to the store or walking to work. I suppose what I’m learning is just some age old photographic basics; you just have to be patient . The good photo your after needs your effort in time and planning. Very few subjects just walk up to you and smile.
For the last few years I have made the trip to the local rodeo here in Cranbrook British Columbia with my cameras. I am granted a press pass and this gives me some pretty good access to get close to the action. Over the three day event I get some great shots and have fun doing it. It’s hard to narrow the list to just a few for my blog post. I hope you enjoy photos I’ve posted as much as I did shooting them.
last summer I was asked to take my camera to the local rodeo for the newspaper. I am a staff columnist there but my contributions are weekly columns about home repair and renovations. Never the less they know I am a camera nut and I have proven to the editor that I can take a photo of some thing more than just a new kitchen re-model. I talked to the organizers and they were happy to give me a press pass. I wondered around close to the action and behind the chutes to get some fun photos. I soon found that there is a lot that goes on at a rodeo and not all the action is in the arena. Out of the hundreds of photos I took here are a few of my favorites.