You know what they say, full frame is the way to go. Oh wait, these are actually a wonderful delight. Not only have I never been to a rodeo before, I’d never used a M43 camera for sports photography. Neysa and I went to the annual rodeo and I only brought the Olympus. Its strange how much fun can be had on a Saturday night, when the sun sets after 10pm. We never figured out if this was a BYOB event or exclusively an $8 beer event, but the town was out in full western gear. And to dispel a common misconception, at least 25% of the attendees did not stand for the anthem. Albeit the town of Hot Springs is adjacent and partially on reservation lands. This little town proves time and again that rural people are not the insane rightwing nut jobs that the world has made them out to be. There are indeed places where farm culture and, gasp, normal people can coincide. Needless to say, I have been thoroughly enjoying this little slice of near wilderness. I learned all the intricacies of the amateur rodeo circuit. Honestly, I’ve never known much about horses and livestock. But what I’ve learned is that every action that may appear to be inhumane to the animals has a deep rooting in practical ranching. Not industrial ranching, which is without contest, a brutal vile practice. Rather, the roping, barrel racing, and bull riding, all stem from skills that ranchers needed to learn in order to successfully maintain their herds. I fear that this will not be my last rodeo.
I hope this little photo essay enriches someone’s day.