Monday, February 21, 2011

Fiesta de los Vaqueros - Tucson Rodeo 19 February 2011

Wind and dust and a bit of rain were the backdrop of the first day of Tucson’s La Fiesta de los Vaqueros 86th Annual Rodeo.  Having spent so many years in Tucson and having attended the rodeo in the past, it was really a coming home for me in so many ways.  I’ve been through rain and snow and hot hot sun and temperatures at previous rodeos.  I wish I could have worn my cowboy hat, but I knew it would blow off, darn it.

Western Photographer David Stoecklein spoke and shared his background and that was great hearing from him.  Here is his site with his beautiful photos:

The wind and rain presented some real challenges in photographing the event.  I was at the north end of the arena, which is located south of I-10 down 6th Avenue.  Always AFTER an event I think of things I should have done differently.  I wish I had brought my monopod, although that wasn’t crucial.  I wish WISH I had brought my Tamron 100- 300mm lens instead of the all purpose Tamron 18-270mm.  The latter lens was fine, as you can see from the photos, but I wanted a bit more reach.  I didn’t get any keepers from the bull riding because they put up temporary fencing and I couldn’t shoot over the fence.  I wish I had gone up higher in the stands for that, but then I would have needed a lens with more reach.  I also sadly did not get any mutton busters, the young 4 and 5 year old kids who ride the very docile sheep.  Sometimes it just doesn’t happen for you on a shoot. 

What did go right?  Well, I think I got some great bronco riding and steer wrestling shots.  There are a few great photos I got of a Native American cowboy steer wrestler... I didn’t get his name, but what a face! 

I hope you enjoy!

Jim Patterson