JANUARY 2012 Photography Society Monthly Outing
My truly first ever experience. Every month as part of the photography society I belong to (Sutherland Shire Photography), we visit a different location every month for a photo shoot and every second month we do a Mystery Tour (exactly as the name implies). More on that later.
January was Rodeo month. Yes, just as you see it in the American movies. But right here in good old Australia. And what a truly awesome experience. Just 2 hours drive out of Sydney to Goulburn (country NSW). The Taralga Rodeo, an annual event, bursting with energy, with smells and sights to entice all your senses. As you walk around, you can smell the dust, see it floating in the air, good old country music blasting out the loud speaker while the commentator introduces each new cowboy, bull and horse.
Every direction you turn or walk, is a hive of activity. From horses warming up in the paddock to enormous bulls mating in the pens or stomping restlessly about, heaving their weight against the bars, watching you with determined eyes that your so mesmerized, you can barely tear yourself away. Children, dressed in such adorable cowboy gear, running around, ice cream cones and chocolate melting down their shirts, laughing and playing. And not to forget, some very good looking young cowboys milling about, smeared with dust, euphoric smiles on their faces, some just unwinding under a shady tree, smoke and beer in hand. Who knew a good cowboy hat and chaps could be so sexy.
It was a day of delights for me. Not an easy event to photograph as I discovered. But you definitely notice your shots get better as the day progresses. You find out what works, what doesn’t. When’s the best time to hit the shutter. Pay close attention to the gates opening, when the bull first emerges, you can predict a horses next move, that moment when they glide past a barrel and the dust takes flight or when a cowboy is just about to get thrown off and hopefully you can capture him in mid air. Not easy. But it was a day I shall remember always and definitely do again.
The images below are hard to describe in words. It comes down to 'you had to be there' to literally stad half a meter away from the bull pen, where a cowboy is literally getting ready to mount his bull, getting strapped up. The energy is electric.
This photo does no justice at all to this magnificent creature. When you're standing about 4 feet away, the only thing protecting you against this larger than life force are a few bars of steel. It's the most incredible feeling that courses through your body as your standing there. Looking into his face and his eyes are boring into yours. The sheer power is surreal.