2007 Grand National Rodeo - Film Flashback

A couple of months ago, Cowboys & Indians magazine contacted me to use one of my pictures for their "Best of the West" issue to illustrate a list of the best rodeos in the west. They eventually chose the picture below of Miss Grand National on her horse with the flag taken on the first day of the 2007 Grand National Rodeo.

As it happens, this is one of the first few pictures I made at the first rodeo I ever shot. This was back in the dark days before Nikon released the D3, and shooting in the Cow Palace was borderline impossible. D2x/D200 bodies didn't do well above 800 ISO, so I brought along an F5 and shot Tri-X 400 pushed two stops to 1600 ISO because at that point, film grain was preferable to the chroma noise produced by digital. The picture above was made with a D200 at 1600 ISO with heavy noise reduction. All of the pictures below were made with the F5 + pushed Tri-X, and developed by me in my closet. Captions are spotty because I knew so little about rodeo at the time that I couldn't even read a day sheet much less tell the difference between bareback and saddle bronc. Quite a difference 4 years makes, no?

Grand National Drill Team

William Pittman - 2007 Grand National Rodeo

Grand National Rodeo - Cotton Rosser

Grand National Rodeo - Shotgun Rodney Gaston & Doc Holiday

Grand National Rodeo - Shotgun Rodney Gaston

Grand National Rodeo - Bull Riding

Grand National Rodeo - Bareback Riding

Grand National Rodeo - Saddle Bronc

Grand National Rodeo - Barrel Racing

Grand National Rodeo - Saddle Bronc

Grand National Rodeo - Bull Riding

Grand National Rodeo - Shadow Cowboy