Ryan’s Field Notes #6 – Behind the Scenes at the Rodeo

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Welcome back friends.
There are few things that capture the imagination like the rodeo.
This week I am diving into a little bit of the behind the scenes
from a few rodeos I have taken images at. Enjoy.

Rodeo, few things capture the imagination of both young and old alike
in the way that a rodeo does.
From a young boy being in awe at the cowboys, the horses and bulls;
to the old cowboy watching in appreciation, knowing the skill it takes
to make it through the ride.
Taking pictures at the rodeos is definitely one of the assignments
I always enjoy. There is so much going on before and during a rodeo
that one never gets bored. So much action, and color.
So much contrast.
As an artist it keeps the mind engaged and always searching for
the next image, and one doesn’t ever have to look far.

Most rodeo photographers only showcase the images of the rides,
I do have plenty of those, but in this weeks Field Notes I wanted
to showcase some of the behind the scenes work I have done.
In some editions in the future I will highlight the other aspects of these
fun events.

As the time of the rodeo to begin draws near the cowboys and cowgirls
are all hustling getting everything in place.
There is always a lot to get ready and so much of it can’t be done in advance.
In the above image some of the horses for the bronc riding events are
being transferred to the sorting pens. The process is usually pretty fast
paced and I find it intriguing to watch as various gates are opened and
closed while the horses or bulls are individually targeted, as the cowboys
try to get them into the pen each one is slated for.
Of course the livestock never has the same idea of where they want
to go as what the desired result is.

Once the livestock is prepped and the participants gear is made ready
there is time for some of the riders to watch and contemplate as the
time for their ride draws near, as shown in this next image.
I always love looking for those details that still tell a story, as in the
boots and spurs. You can tell that they have been through a lot.

The cowboy making sure everything is secured properly,
the riders tightening the cinch and fixing their spurs.
So much to observe and watch for, all the way to the end of the rodeo
when the pick up man, the lifeline to so many riders, is the last one
to leave the rodeo at the end of another successful event.
Tired from putting forth his all to be there for those who needed him.

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