Monday, July 6, 2009

Black Hills Roundup

Seems the animals have won another rodeo. Or at least there were plenty of opportunities for me to shoot unsuccessful riders at this year's Black Hills Roundup in Belle Fourche.

One of the oldest and best rodeos in South Dakota, the BH Roundup always seems to provide some great action. It's also a fairly easy rodeo to photograph because the large grandstands have many different vantage points you can use to shoot from. I ended up shooting mostly from the ground, but higher spots are scattered throughout grandstands on the south and west of the arena.

This is a big arena, so a big lens is needed. I shot these with my 400mm and at times wished I had a bit more reach for some of the shots. Another tip if you want to shoot this kind of action - a fast lens with a maximum aperture of f2.8 or so is very helpful for two reasons. First, it will allow you to use higher shutter speeds to freeze the motion and second to give you a very shallow depth-of-field so those distracting backgrounds are blurred. My 80-400mm has a maximum aperture of only f4.5, which did not blur the background as much as I would have liked.

For photos of the Little Texas concert after the rodeo on July 4, check out Chad's Concert Pix.


FunkyMama said...

wow ... tried and true rodeo shots! thanks for the aperture tip. it was a quick refresher i needed (kept forgetting to look up how to get a shallow DoF).

Chad Coppess said...

Thanks and you're welcome. We all need refreshers now and then.

Anonymous said... was a quick refresher i needed..
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