Evergreen Rodeo

© 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.

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Evergreen Rodeo: Saturday PRCA

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

The photo above pretty much sums up my take on Saturday. I shot the parade then high tailed it to the arena. In a change from last year, the rodeo was moved to 2pm. This was probably a good thing for rodeo attendance but not a good thing for photography. The light is pretty bad at 2pm. I think last year it started around 5pm. At that time there is an abundance of good, directional light that blankets the arena. I only had to push the ISO above 1600 for the last bull riders. Today the light didn’t cooperate at all. I did my best to try and come up with some different angles and to try and work with the light.

Speaking of angles, in the past I have shot from the tower with the announcer and timers. This year only one photographer was allowed in the tower. I don’t know who it was but I really hope it wasn’t a commercial event photographer that restricted a member of the working press from covering that angle for the sole purpose of exclusivity. I’m gonna try to find out some more information tomorrow. Some of the photos that I posted yesterday are from that angle and it would be a shame to lose that as an option.

Overall there weren’t a lot of stand out moments today. I still took home a couple of decent photos. Tomorrow I will focus more on features and less on action.

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More from the Evergreen Rodeo

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

Last night was a lot of fun. It was also a lot of work. I was primarily shooting for the sports section which means that my focus was on the riders and a good action shot to fill the page. That didn’t mean that I couldn’t shoot a couple of good feature shots if I wanted, it just meant that they might not run. I forgot how much ritual there is behind the chutes. I really tried to work that as much as I could. I ran into a fellow photog named Matt McClain, formerly of the Rocky Mountain News. I am a big fan of his work. He’s a really nice guy, has a great eye and always makes me say to myself “damn, that’s a good shot. Why didn’t I have that?” The following aren’t in any particular order. They are just images that jumped out at me when I was looking through last nights take. Anyway, I am back at the rodeo today starting around 1pm. I’ll be the guy looking out of place.

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