Friday, March 7, 2014

The Parada del Sol Rodeo 2 March 2014

I just flat out love photographing rodeos!  I’d have to say these are my people… the fans, the cowboys, the volunteers, the music … and the cowboys and I should say the cowgirls too are in a really rough sport.  It’s dangerous, hard work, and sometimes doesn’t pay that well.  The Parada del Sol in Scottsdale was a new venue for me.  I’d never been to WestWorld where the rodeo is held.  I got in general admission thinking it was an outdoor rodeo like the Tucson and Cave Creek events.  But WestWorld is an inside arena!  In addition, the lighting is fluorescent. 

Next year when I go, I’m going to spend extra money and sit in the VIP seats much closer to the action. 

OK, so I photographed with my Canon 5D Mark III and brought along a Canon 70-200mm “L” class lens, plus a Tamron 2x extender just in case.  I ended up using that to give me 300mm to 400mm reach. 

I set my camera white balance to fluorescent and took a few test photos to see how it looked.  I knew I was safe anyway because I shoot in raw format and I could change the white balance later on in Lightroom. 

I also decided to go Tv or shutter priority along with automatic ISO.  Yes, the Canon 5d Mark III can handle a really high ISO.  In this case, I’ve had some photos in my collection that were up to 12,800 ISO and look fine.  Imagine a few years ago trying that.  It wasn’t long ago that 1600 ISO was stretching it.  I set the Tv or shutter to 1/1000th of a second.  With a wide open aperture, you know I was really testing the cameras ability to take useable photos at incredibly high ISOs! 

But next year, I’m getting closer to the action.  I only got one useable lady barrel racer, darn it!  But I got some real keepers anyway.

A special shout-out to MacPhun software... In post processing, I used Lightroom along with SnapHeal Pro and Intensify Pro.  Give 'em a try!

See ya on down the road,

Part Two:  Fun with MacPhun!  Since I wrote this blog, I started playing with a few MacPhun editing tools and thought I'd share what I did.  

First, here is the photo I started with....   

Everything is in color and in focus.  Not bad.  

Next, from Lightroom I edited this in MacPhun's Focus 2 Pro.  I painted in the two areas I wanted in focus and the background was set out of focus.  I thought the volunteer to the left was interesting, so I painted him in focus along with the bucking horse and the cowboy. 

Finally, I took the above photo and edited it with MacPhun's ColorStrokes.  It converts the above photo to greyscale, then I am able to paint back in the original color.  If you make a mistake it is easy to correct, by the way.  

So now I ended up with a photo with selective bokeh (fuzzy focus) and areas I wanted highlighted with color.  Pretty neat, huh?

You can view all of my photos of the rodeo on Flickr