State High School Championship Rodeo for South Carolina has happened in Johns Island this year. Yesterday evening we decided it would be fun to go. My wife and daughter have not been to one before and I have not been to one since 92(ish). The first rodeo I went to was in or near Cody, Wyoming a lifetime ago. It is still a summer event that happens every day there . Maybe one day I will get back out there to see it .
The conditions were a challenge to say the least . Tungston lights were the only thing lighting the area. ISO-6400 or higher were required but I decided to stay within the 6400 max range . The image quality for my body is good at 6400 under some conditions but I was unsure what it would be like for an event like this . Now I know if possible stay 3200 or under 6400 is a bit high for the current body. Then there was the fact that outside of Bronc riding I was supprised how much I had forgotten about the flow and paths of the events. So there was a bit of a learning curve there. I found myself switching to the 17-50mm lens to give myself breathing room the 70-200 (f4) was a bit long on the asp-c body that I have . I think honestly for 80% of the events a 24-105 would be perfect at least at this area. Then there was one other challenge. The cool damp night. It was in the high 40s but I am thinking the humidity was at around 60-70% which makes the cool a damp cold . While we did not stay for the entire show for this reason it was fun. We missed the bull riding :( but that leaves something for another time.
The first few images were of the winner and only one to ride the horse for the 8 seconds. This is one of two events that a large part of the score comes from the animal that the cowboy draws to ride. The other part is up to them to stay on the horse for the long 8 second. The other event is Bull Riding.
Every rodeo needs a clown . The comedy helps fill in the times that there is setup for the next event and then they also help keep the cowboys and girls safe.
The calves were faster than all but one of the cowboys .
The Cowgirl part of the roping participants had better luck/skills at roping the calves . I think there was only one or two that missed in this event.
There was only one participant in this event which is known as bull dogging and he was successful.
The above few pictures were of the barrel racing competition. I was perfectly placed to not get any shots of the horses going around the barrels . I do not think I could plan that again if I had to . I was dead center infront of one which also lined up to block the other two. Oh well lesson learned for the next time . I knew by this time my best chance at an image was with panning. Combined with the noise of the relatively high iso causing the image to be less than sharp and not being practiced with panning I had quite a number of ones that hit the trashcan.
This is one time where overall I did not have many successful images but I did learn a lot for the next time. Also this is the first time I found that mirror blackout annoyed me . Something to keep in my mind when I get to where I want/need a new body. Also next time I will try to position myself to get the least amount of flares from the lights. Even with the lens hoods majority of my images have some kind of flare in them which for this event I do not mind this time.