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I mentioned a few posts back that I had been given a Photo Pass by West Jordan City to shoot the parade and the Western Stampede Rodeo. I decided to spend the 4th with my family so I missed shooting the opening night of the Rodeo but I ended up returning for Friday and Saturday’s action. What an amazing experience!

I wanted this to be a family experience, but I only had two passes so my wife and daughter sat in the stands, my son was my assistant and carried the lens bag and umbrella (we needed it!) and I carried the 8mm fisheye and 10-20mm Sigma lens in a fanny pack. (I know, I’m the epitome of cool) Being able to shoot all night without a heavy backpack on was great.  We arrived just as they were starting the Mutton Bustin’ segment.. with my 70-300mm on the camera I started blasting away…

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Going down!

Going down!

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"Wait, What just happened?" Probably my favorite shot of the night! The sheep's expression is priceless.

“Wait, What just happened?” Probably my favorite shot of the night! The sheep’s expression is priceless.

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The Sherrif's Pose performing. 8mm Fisheye

The Sherrif’s Pose performing. 8mm Fisheye

_DSC3327 _DSC3338Now onto some real action!

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You'd think he'd look more relieved after 8 seconds...

This is what relief looks like on a cowboy… who knew 8 seconds could be so long?

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Rodeo Royalty

Rodeo Royalty

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This guy was an amazing announcer! He kept everything flowing smoothly and quickly dispensing commentary and humor along the way.

This guy was an amazing announcer! He kept everything flowing smoothly and quickly, while dispensing commentary and humor along the way.

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Fisheye view of the chute for steer wrestling.

Fisheye view of the chute for steer wrestling.

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Beef it's what's for dinner...

Beef it’s what’s for dinner…

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Sister trick riders.

Sister trick riders.

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_DSC3991_DSC4030 _DSC4060 _DSC4092 _DSC4100Around this time the Sun started setting and with all the clouds it got dark quick although we had a spectacular sunset for a few minutes.

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3 shot Handheld HDR with the 8mm fisheye

3 shot Handheld HDR with the 8mm fisheye

The intermission was provided by a pair of motocross stunt riders.

_DSC4472 _DSC4514 _DSC4550Using the power of the all access photo pass I set up above the main chutes in the box seats to catch the bulls. (it also helped protect us from the rain that had started to fall.)

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At the end of the show they run out a herd of horses, future bucking broncos good timing as the rain really started to pick up.

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I had a great time at my first ever rodeo, the challenges of capturing such fast paced action while also trying to show a little bit of the atmosphere of the whole event was fun and really made me stretch myself. I also learned that I need to increase my shutter speed as most of my later shots were on the blurred side, I would do a much better job of that on Saturday (Stay tuned for that post coming soon) I loved shooting next to my son and talking with all the other photographers that had scored passes, many who had shot rodeos before. And an extra huge thanks to West Jordan City specifically Kim Wells who trusted me with the passes and to Photographix Camera club and Doug Sims who was the one to post on Facebook that passes were available.

Thanks for hanging around for such a long post, I hope you enjoyed it!

Happy Shooting!
Howard

PS: Oh yeah about the title of the post, you see I’m a rocker, I hate country music and apparently so does the rodeo as I only heard one country song all night the rest was all rock! Guess Bulls and Broncos don’t buck so hard to twangy tunes…

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