Cowboys and their Bull …

It all started when I stopped in to see a friend. One thing lead to another and I found myself online buying tickets to a Professional Bull Riding event. 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I wanted to sit where the action was, and I did.  I was so close that I was shooting between the railings from my lap. Some of these images are framed by those bars, protecting the audience from the 1000 pound beast.

.

PBR 1-10

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PBR 1-24

Photographing inside an arena is difficult, for one the lighting is awful. I tweaked my camera settings as the evening progressed, but I just couldn’t figure out the right combination.  Practice will make perfect!  By the end of the event my camera speed was set at 3200, a speed high enough to stop action in low lighting, but it also incurs ‘noise’, or grain, that is predominant in the image. (at least with the older cameras).

………..  PBR 2

                                                           if looks could kill

Wanting to get a different perspective, I walked the building to find other vantage points. These points needed to be patrolled by kind guards, and some were. Because the composition is good, in my opinion, and the skill is lacking, I played around with the images. I like a photo to resemble reality, that is my goal, however, I won’t post these the way they were shot, I had to tweak them.

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PBR 5

.

………….  PBR 1-21

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PBR 1-15

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…………..  PBR 1-25

.

While watching this event it occurred to me that the bulls were having as much fun as the riders.  This is a game for the animals as well, in fact a few of these brutes were ‘grandstanding’.  Here is a shot of one bull taking a victory lap, and he wasn’t the only one that circled the ring.

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……………  PBR 4

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PBR 1-4

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PBR 1

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PBR

……………  almost resembles a ballet

Now that all is said and done, I did not get the photograph I was hoping to. I think I captured some good shots, but not of the ‘photographic’ quality I am aiming to reach. This is where the fun begins, after all, they didn’t build Rome in a day !  That being said, I will be searching for rodeo’s hither and yon, I have only just begun.  Stay tuned …. I can only get better!   

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9 thoughts on “Cowboys and their Bull …

  1. These images upset me because I do not believe in abusing animals for our entertainment. Looking forward to seeing more of your other projects.

    • These animals are not abused in any way. It is very ignorant to say something like that when you know nothing about this sport. It’s bull riding not fighting.

  2. A Big Howdy There Rodeo Photographer, I am now hooked into your blog and I have to say “Well Done”. Last week was a tour de force on how cold and lonely a big city can be, bereft of people. I think it takes a true artiste to go to extremes of nature to reach a desired effect. On this weeks blog I want to assure Janie (your little sister? or your Mom?) that you were correct in saying the bulls are into the act as well. The cowboys and the stock owners treat their animals like royalty and go to extremes to care for and make sure the bulls are well treated. The rope around the withers or flanks of the bull is harmless and does nothing to harm the animal. A lot of people think the rope is somehow attached to their groins or something and that is not the case. The rope is more like being tickled to the point of annoyance and that is what gets them to a bucking action. Those animals are the meal tickets to the owners and the cowboys both, and are bred to be as aggressive and as bucky as they can be, but at no time are they harmed. Growing up in AZ I have been exposed to the sport of rodeo and my brother- in-law once was a bull rider and tried to get me interested in steer wrestling, and my niece was a barrel racer growing up. So while not of the rodeo world myself I have been around it for many years and I have a lot of respect for the sportsmen and sportswomen involved and the stock contractors as well. There are people who abuse their pets so one can’t say that there is no such thing in the rodeo world. But if and when it occurs the rodeo people are the first to speak up and either stop the practice of it or stop the people doing it from being involved in rodeo later randy.

  3. Having been to a rodeo myself, I can vouch that those riders are some tough sum-bitches. The bulls themselves are also the stars of the show. Great shots — maybe you need a camera upgrade to secure those action shots?

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