Monday, January 27, 2014

Rodeo in Southern Texas photographed with the Pentax K-3 and the DA 50-200mm ED WR


Hi Photographer friends,

We are currently in Southern Texas with our RV. As many of you know, we are travelling the US and Canada for the next two years. Driving around in the area this past Sunday, we had breakfast in a small local restaurant  (best food are always found at these locations)  and heard about a bull riding rodeo taking place nearby. We decided to go. What a treat.

I really wasn't set up for that as the only lens I had with me was the DA 50-200mm. It's a good lens, but not as good as the more expensive Pentax zoom and telephoto lenses. You know what they say, the best lens is the one you have with you. As for the camera, that was different. I had the Pentax K-3 and that's the best cropped sensor DSLR ever produced.

I think I managed to get some good images after all. The place was dark and I had to use ISO 800 on most images. Surprisingly, they came out looking pretty good. I did crop most of the images and played with the exposure, sharpening and luminance in Lightroom afterward. I am one that believe in enhancing your images is a good thing as long as you don't change the context or add additional images that weren't there to begin with. 

So here are a few of the pictures:

Silhouettes have a pleasant impact, for me anyway. It is taken while reading the light from the brighter background, fooling the camera's metering system to think that the exposure is optimum. Pentax K-3 with the DA 50-200mm.

This ride looks like it would be worse than my Ford F350 Dually Pickup Truck. I admire these cowboys. Using the same lens, I cropped it and added some vignetting in the corners to draw the viewer's attention to the center.

Credit has to be given to these guys for diverting the bull's attention away from the bull rider while he is off the bull. Notice the rider on the bottom right corner. The bull actually threw the guy up in the air. Fortunately, he wasn't injured. Amazing! This image was cropped to get closer and the exposure was adjusted afterward. 

The above two images show the intense work effort that goes into making sure the rider is secured on the bull before the gate is open. This is an extraordinary team effort. Just think about it, a bull weighing about two thousand pounds against the rider weighing less that two hundred pounds. Which one has a better chance?  The bull does everything it can to throw the rider off. Once off, the bull often tries to trample the rider.  The images were cropped, the exposure adjusted, and the luminance adjusted. 

Does this bull look friendly to you?  Image cropped and exposure adjusted.

The horse looks as proud as the rider. This was taken while the national Anthem was sung Cappella. It was touching in a cowboy kind of way. This image was cropped to a square format just because I liked it better.

This must be what you feed like when riding a bull. My head was spinning just looking. This image was shot at 1/30th of a second to capture the movement. Cropped and clarity adjusted.

I took a lot more pictures, but I think that eight images do tell the story. We had a great time and will go to another rodeo when we have a chance.

Thank you for reading,

Yvon Bourque

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