2012 Redding Rodeo

Somehow I had never made it in to shoot the Redding Rodeo, but thanks to a little help from my friends, I got a credential for this year's event. I knew I had very limited time in Redding because I needed to be back in the Bay Area to shoot the Rowell Ranch Rodeo over the weekend, so I arrived just in time for slack on Thursday, shot Thursday night's performance and Friday's slack and then raced home to get ready for the weekend. As I was shooting roper Blair Burk I knew I had a good picture of him getting off his horse...

2012 Redding Rodeo - Blair Burk

...but I kept shooting as he clotheslined himself on his rope and ended up in the dirt:

2012 Redding Rodeo - Blair Burk

The comedy continued as Tyson Durfey knocked his own hat off with his rope coming out of the box. I've never seen anyone do this, least of all a multiple NFR qualifier.

2012 Redding Rodeo - Tyson Durfey

Some by-the-book roping:

2012 Redding Rodeo - Cameron Elston

2012 Redding Rodeo - Clint Cooper

2012 Redding Rodeo - Jack Vanderlans

The top-ranked steer wrestler in the world is Ethan Thouvenell from the rodeo hotbed of Napa, CA. Here he is doing his thing:

2012 Redding Rodeo - Ethan Thouvenell

2012 Redding Rodeo - B.J. Campbell

2012 Redding Rodeo - Kyle Whitaker

Bo Anderson had a run to forget as he came off his horse ahead of his steer:

2012 Redding Rodeo - Bo Anderson

For night rodeos, the arena lighting is almost never good enough to make commercially viable pictures. They're fine for media use, but most sponsors want daytime pictures for ads and promo use. When I shoot night rodeos, I make it a point to get there before the cowboys to get as many behind-the-chutes pictures as possible, taking advantage of the directional light and shadows as they get ready. Here's Chase Erickson stretching with the sun peeking through the chutes:

2012 Redding Rodeo - Chase Erickson

And Erickson again wrapping tape around his riding arm with the sun coming in from behind and bouncing off of the wall for some fill light:

2012 Redding Rodeo - Chase Erickson

Bareback riders sure do use a lot of tape:

2012 Redding Rodeo - Jessy Davis & Joe Gunderson

Luke Butterfield & Taos Muncy trade stories before their rides:

2012 Redding Rodeo - Luke Butterfield & Taos Muncy

Jake Wright works on his saddle in the corner. Note his shadow on the plywood:

2012 Redding Rodeo - Jake Wright

As the bareback riding started, there was still a tiny bit of sunlight spilling over the grandstands, focused on the area just outside of the chutes. John Hollandsworth rode into the light and promptly got flipped into the air by Roan Alley:

2012 Redding Rodeo - John Hollandsworth

2012 Redding Rodeo - John Hollandsworth

2012 Redding Rodeo - John Hollandsworth

Will Lowe caught the last rays on Bittersweet:

2012 Redding Rodeo - Will Lowe

You can see the difference as Luke Creasy rode next, the sun was not hitting the arena at all:

2012 Redding Rodeo - Luke Creasy

2012 Redding Rodeo - Jason Havens

There wasn't enough time to reposition for tie-down roping, so I made some tight pictures of the riders coming of of the box:

2012 Redding Rodeo - Matt Shiozawa

2012 Redding Rodeo - Clint Cooper

The light was really fading by the time the Budweiser Clydesdales were finished, and I was pushing the ISO for saddle bronc:

2012 Redding Rodeo - Wade Sundell

2012 Redding Rodeo - Ryan MacKenzie

2012 Redding Rodeo - Taos Muncy

I didn't stay for the rest of the events, but managed to catch my friend John Growney for a portrait at 400mm:

2012 Redding Rodeo - John Growney

An early clip:

Sports Illustrateds Photos of the Day - Chason Floyd