Evergreen Rodeo: Sunday PRCA

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

The Rodeo is now over. (I can’t wait until next year!) Sunday was an encore performance of Saturday with one exception. That exception is pictured above. Unfortunately her performance was cut short when she lost control of her horse.

I kept up with my theme of trying to come up with new angles for the same events today. I shot through the fence, from outside the chutes and way up on the hill above the arena with a 1.4x and a 2.ox converter. I made a lot of bad pictures but I also made a lot of good pictures taking chances. Not a bad day overall. Barbara Ford joined me today and having a skilled second shooter always takes the pressure off. Click through to see what I came up.

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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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Rodeo: Pictures We Didn’t Publish

© Matthew Jonas 2009/Evergreen Newspapers 2009

There are so many pictures opportunities at the Rodeo it can be overwhelming. I was digging through my archives from last year’s Evergreen Rodeo and realized that there were a ton of really nice pictures that we didn’t publish. I’m not sure why some of these didn’t make it into the paper but I can only assume that after 3 solid days of covering the rodeo the photo editor side of my brain wasn’t functioning properly. That’s probably the nicest thing about having smalltownphotojournalism.com. I can finally publish these pictures. Click through for a few more that didn’t make the cut.

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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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