Rodeo comes back


Rodeo in Ontario used to be a regular thing before you-know-what. There’s a very active tour, the Ram Rodeo tour, which presents a great balance between experienced competitors and those just starting out in one of the toughest sports in the world.

Before I sold most of my Nikon gear – the weight was getting too much for my old back – and moved to the lighter Fuji mirrorless range I would regularly shoot with my D500 or D7100 and my 70-200mm f2.8 which is a fantastic lens for getting those up-close and in your face shots. I have to say that I’m not a great fan of the rodeo shot which shows the arena, the crowd and the competitor in the centre of the shot. I tend to adopt the same principle as I used for my rugby photography – get in the face, find the emotion and capture a specific moment. Each to their own, but that’s my approach. I also like to throw in a little abstract now and again, slowing the shutter right down and producing something that I hope is a little out of the ordinary.

Shutter speed of 1/30s, panning

For this rodeo I took along the Fujinon 100-400m lens attached to my X-T3. I also had a 50-200mm on the XPro2 as a backup but didn’t really need to use it. Because I knew I’d be shooting bursts, and also to give myself a bit of a challenge, I decided to shoot only in JPG, using the great Kodachrome II simulation from Fuji X Weekly. I made one adjustment which was to turn grain off completely, but otherwise the settings were as specified. I think there is a film look to the resulting images although the shadows were very deep and needed a little lifting in post. The 100-400mm performed well although throwing the background out of focus was a lot more trouble, obviously, than with my 70-200 f2.8. Some addition post-processing was needed for that.

Anyway, enjoy the images. It was such a blast to be back at the rodeo after so long, just a shame we have to wait for next year to do it all again!

The Canadian Cowgirls riding troop

They don’t always have to be action shots

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