Cochrane Alberta Labour Day Weekend Rodeo

I spent two hours hanging out at the Cochrane Rodeo on Saturday. The great thing about small town rodeos is you can get really close to the action and try different angles because you have the freedom to go almost anywhere you want. So I took my EOS-1ds Mark III and my Canon 300mm F4L lens and tried my hand at rodeo photography. Well, it is much harder than it looks! The most difficult aspect is getting clean shots without tons of clutter in the background — I hate busy and distracting backgrounds so you can imagine my frustration with all the fences, banners, vehicles and buildings competing for attention with the main subject (the rodeo riders). My hats off to the pro rodeo photographers for making this gig look easy and for getting great shots without clutter. Anyway here are my favorite 12 shots from the afternoon — like anything to get better requires practice. So next summer I will try to get to more than one rodeo and click away to refine my rodeo shooting.  From a photo gear point of view I am finally happy with the auto-focus on my Mark III. It only took numerous firmware upgrades and many focus micro adjustments using Lens Align to finally get the expensive machine to actually work. Hey, don’t get me started about Canon’s numerous auto-focusing problems with a significant number of their camera releases! On a happier note check out Wayne Simpson’s shots from the same afternoon — what a fun way to hang out with a fellow photographer — and we did not even end up in the beer garden!

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett


17 Responses to “Cochrane Alberta Labour Day Weekend Rodeo”

  1. wicked shots mate!

  2. Fabulous! I think that you saved the best for last!

  3. My favourite is the last one as well. I really like the panning shots too. Great job Darwin!

  4. I love all of these small rodeos in the summer. Nice work in some challenging conditions the last couple of days. I’ll see you down there if you make it down for the finals this afternoon.

  5. It’s really nice to see these shots Darwin. Something different is always great fun. Planning a trip to our State Fair next weekend to try my hand at some fair and carnival shooting.

    Thanks for sharing these with us all.

  6. Wow really nice. Darwin, would you mind sharing what focus settings did you use? I can never get fast moving subjects sharp enough, even if I use continuous mode – it always seems to be way too slow. Is there a secret to getting sharp photos like these? My camera is Nikon D3X…

  7. Man these are great and made me giggle too. I mean…are those kids on SHEEP?? That last shot is fantastic.

  8. Fantastic shots Darwin! That must have been fun to shoot. 😉

  9. Wow! I’m impressed. You did such a wonderful job of focus & framing and catching the action at just the most dramatic.

  10. Excellent shots Darwin! I like motion blur in the panning shots.

  11. Good work, Darwin. Have to agree with the other reviewers that your last break away shot is the best of the bunch – though your top saddle bronc image is pretty good, too. Panning is just tough with horses…

  12. […] wasn’t at the rodeo on Sunday, so I missed seeing Darwin Wiggett and Wayne Simpson there.  They both posted images from their time on the grounds – great […]

  13. widebrightpass Says:

    Really great shots! I am so impressed by the sharpness of the some panning shots. I am the one who needs a practice. I love the last one.

  14. Harold Isaac Says:

    Very nice shots Darwin. Working with the fellow who headed up the rodeo, allowed me to wander around the gounds on a pass and shoot my first rodeo this last Labour Day Monday. It was a lot of fun and gave me lots of keeper shots.

  15. The Best shot I’ve ever seen! Good job. I hope I can shot like your photo in this blog.

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