Right Time, Right Place

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

Anticipating a moment is one of the most important things a photojournalist can do. Straying away from a crowd or choosing a different place to shoot from can make all the difference.

The photo above speaks volumes about the sport of rodeo. But it was a chance. The arena at the Evergreen Rodeo and Fair grounds is old and the positions to shoot from are few and far between. This photo was made from directly in front of the chutes in the stands at the 2008 rodeo. The photo position where many of the other photographers were shooting from is to the far left and, throughout most of the afternoon, looks directly into the setting sun. I chose to show up early, scout for other positions and take my chances by sitting directly across from the action.

It is a fairly simple idea when shooting most sports: get as close as you can, set up directly in front of the action and wait for it to come at you. And boy did it come at me. Seeing riders bucked from horses is a common thing at the rodeo. Seeing a horse roll over on top of the rider is not.

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