Rodeos- a rich subculture

9 February 2012


Last weekend the rodeo came to town. It is something my wife enjoys  and so in the past 2 years is the fourth one I have been to, but the first one here in Invercargill. It is a fun day out for the whole family, with the usual array of events inside the ring but also stalls and  sideshows around the arena. I particularly like the commentary.


From the photographic point of view I have come to realize that they are an interesting and rich environment. Drama,dust and excitement of the rodeo itself, the dress and rituals of the participants and the socializing and characters of the audience.


To photograph any subject well requires and level of understanding and intimacy with it; this is true be it landscape or portrait. But it also applies to an event. As I write this I realize that I don’t have a proper understanding of this world and hence I suspect that my images fall short. (I will add to mental to do list). By the way I have found that people are very friendly in regard to having their photograph taken at these events, but I recommend asking permission


On this day I had limited time but a ringside spot. I found that getting good action shots was harder than it looked: requiring good positioning, anticipation and a technical competence that has to be perfect, fast and versatile. Frequently I was frustrated by poor focusing or poor placement of the subject within the frame. For the landscape photographer this is a steep learning curve!


Here are a few shots from the day, if technically right they would have been keepers.