Rodeo is an American sport, born and breed in the Great West. Tradition, patriotism, respect, and family values are celebrated at the start of every rodeo with the American flag and a tribute to the US military.
Opening of the Sidney Iowa Rodeo
Saddle bronc at the Sidney Iowa Rodeo
The Sidney Iowa rodeo is no exception and 2012 celebrated their 89th year with 339 cowboys participating in the five-day event. The talent and quality of stock was definitely better than what I saw the week before at the Wahoo Nebraska rodeo. While both were PRCA sanctioned events, Sidney takes it to a whole different level.
Calf Roping, just look at the horse, he knows what to do
Sidney Iowa has a population of about 1,500 people and hosts more than 38,000 people during five days. To this small town come professional cowboys that are nationally ranked in the top ten and perform in the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. This meant watching a large percentage of full 8 second rides and few missed throws in the roping competitions.
Barrel Racing, times in the low 17 second range
Bull riding at the Sidney Iowa Rodeo
On any given summer Friday or Saturday night in the Western United States a rodeo can be found within driving distance. In eastern Nebraska the Wahoo rodeo has been a long tradition for 58 years.
In his younger days my husband traveled the rodeo circuit as a steer wrestler, otherwise known as a “bull dogger”. Every rodeo event has a practical working purpose on the ranch. It didn’t start as a sport, but as a way for a ranch to gain bragging rights and cowboys to one up each other. The history of rodeo dates back to the 1600 Spanish ranchers and their Mexican cowboys.
Patriotism is Strong at the Opening to the Wahoo Nebraska Rodeo. Note the young boy with his hat over his heart.
The rodeo opened with the announcer giving tribute to family, thanking all military personal, and saying a prayer for God to protect the cowboys and keep them safe during the night. I wish I had brought my video camera as the speech is extremely moving and brings a tear to your eye.
Calf Roping at the Wahoo Nebraska Rodeo
Cowboys waiting for their turn
Saddle bronc riding (click for larger image)
All photos were shot with a Canon Rebel XS with a 75-300 lens. Since the rodeo doesn’t start until 8pm and everything is fast I had the ISO cranked up to 800 right away and it wasn’t long before it went to 1600. Aperture was high at 5.6 and shutter speed no lower than 1/100 sec.
Being around horses and attending previous rodeos I could anticipate my shots to get the best picture like this bull exploding out of the chute.
Lightroom 4 was used in post production for cropping white balance and increased clarity. Noise reduction was accomplised in the Luminescence function I described last week.
I think gas prices are a little high when the department of roads starts using horsepower the sides of the road. This is a sight you don’t see very often, a team of horses mowing the grader ditches. I know the Nebraska state budget isn’t in that dire of straits, but I wonder if gas prices have just gone up a little too much?
Draft Horses (SOOC)
My husband and I spotted these Belgian mares north of Lincoln Nebraska mowing the grass and also saw them four days later, raking the same ditch to turn the hay. They do not belong to the state of Nebraska, nor are they doing the county’s job of maintenance. Of course I had my camera with me, you never know when you will find a photo opportunity, and talked to the farmer. They had just mowed over two miles of grass and would go back in a few days to bale the hay. He believes that horses need to be exercised on a regular basis, especially draft horses, and what better way to do this than put them to work.
I don’t remember their names, but they are full sisters, one a seven year old and the other other eleven.
Team of Belgians Mowing
Edits were done in Lightroom 4 with a decrease in exposure, increase in clarity and opening up shadows on the horses to bring out detail. The sky was still washed out so I used the adjustment brush and decreased the exposure in the sky to get a better balanced image. Voilia! Clouds appeared.
- Horses (littlemarichris.wordpress.com)
The first part of March my hubby and I attended the Great Nebraska Horse Fair in Lincoln Nebrasaka at the Lancaster Event Center. Meet some wonderful people including Jess and her yearling Belgian horse above. Photo was taken inside a horse trailer and lighting was just a little poor. Didn’t want to use my flash so just opened up the aperture.
I first rendered this in GIMP and adjusted the white balance. Although it rendered the image accurate the photo just didn’t give me the warm fuzzies. So after cropping in Photoshop I used a the Color layer adjustment with orange at about a 10% opacity to give the overall image a warmer tone.
What do you think?