I have recently discovered the lure of rodeos.
I never thought I would end up at one and more significantly I did not believe I would enjoy the rodeo scene. A visit to the Taralga Rodeo (New South Wales, Australia) at the end of January 2011 change all that.
There is something pure and honest about a rodeo. The heat and dust combined with the athleticism, horsemanship and at times bone crunching courage was for me irresistible. The Taralga Rodeo was a celebration of rural skills that I think urban dwellers forget exist – rural skills still relevant to farming in the 21st century.
I enjoyed the family atmosphere, the serious competition and young competitors having a go. There was none of the bad behaviour found at many professional sports events such as football.
I thought I had met most photographic challenges, well try standing in a permanent dust cloud and sweating profusely while trying to keep the dust out of my camera back pack and gear.
I know rodeos are big in the United States and maybe other places. I felt there was something very Australian about how this rodeo unfolded. I will give some thought as to how to express what this event said about Australia culture.
I think I may be hooked.
Photographed in the late afternoon on a Canon 5D.