Red Bluff Round-Up week is something I look forward to all year. Early morning timed-event slack means great light, the Wild Ride makes for pictures unavailable anywhere else, the top cowboys and cowgirls in the world brings demand for the pictures, and a committee/staff who truly understand that better access leads to better pictures and better pictures lead to more coverage and a higher profile for the event. Take notes. This year, my girlfriend and I arrived on Tuesday for the media lunch at the Growney Brothers ranch and the opening reception of my rodeo photography gallery show at The Big Picture in downtown Red Bluff. We met a lot of great people I had previously known only on Facebook, and caught up with some old friends I only get to see once per year.
Early on Wednesday I got to work shooting timed event slack. The arena and pens at Red Bluff are really big, and allow for a lot of behind the scenes pictures.
And the 8am light is just beautiful:
Friday's performance starts at 7pm which means that there is very little daylight before the less-than-stellar arena lighting takes over. Some more behind-the-scenes pictures:
But just before sunset, I got these pictures of tie-down ropers in action:
After nightfall, it's truly too dark to get quality action pictures, but there's plenty of light for this one:
With the night perf out of the way, light was abundant on Saturday and Sunday:
For the first time since Salinas last year, I got to break out my fisheye on a pole to get my camera into the arena even as I am not allowed in:
Some longer roughstock pictures:
And then of course, it's The Wild Ride, the most insane rodeo event anywhere:
Thanks to everyone who made Jacq and I feel so welcome in Red Bluff. Special thanks to Round-Up committee president Dave Ramelli, Mike Dudley, and Tonya Redamonti, and Kris & Tim Lamkin for making sure I was in a position to get the pictures. I'm already counting down to 2013.
Some early clips in the form of an unprecedented run of four Sports Illustrated Photos of the Day in a row: