Small Town Photojournalism

A Photo Blog by Matthew Jonas

Evergreen Rodeo

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© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

Boy has it been a while since I posted anything here. It’s not because I didn’t want to. I just haven’t had the time to properly post. Anyway let’s dive into it. Last weekend was the annual Evergreen Rodeo. I only cover about 10 days of rodeo every year but I love shooting it. There is something very raw and true about the sport. It has remained largely untouched by television drama and big corporate money. The access is fantastic. Almost everything is open as long as you don’t get hurt trying to do it. Speaking of getting hurt, the rider and the horse in the first photo were uninjured in the fall.

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

Steer wrestling is probably one of my favorite competitions to shoot during the rodeo. If you are in the right place, it produces some of the best photos. I also am a big fan of tie down roping. The next 3 photos are from the tie down competition.

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

In my opinion there are really only 2 positions that produce a high number of good images from the competition: directly in front of the chute or behind it. The last photo from the tie down roping competition is from in front while the other 2 are from behind the chute.

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

You can’t go wrong with bull riding, bareback riding and saddle bronc riding. Being that this was my fourth year covering the rodeo, I decided to mix things up a little and try a few different angles. Some where successful but others were a complete failure. I now realize that there was a reason that I have traditionally shot from one position or another in the past. Speaking of failure, I will not be renting from Camren in Denver again. The last 2 lens rentals I have had from them have been awful. Both the 400mm f2.8 and a 300mm f2.8 were super soft wide open. Awful. Almost everything I shot on Friday night was soft. They desperately need to send them in for cleaning and focus adjustment. I’ll be renting from lensrentals.com from now on. But enough about that.

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

I have a tendency to to like to run photos of riders getting bucked off. Not every rider had a bad ride. Many had some great rides and a few hung on to score.

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

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