A DAY AT THE TOOGOOLAWAH RODEO

My assignment for the tourism authority of south-east Queensland’s Somerset Region started yesterday with the Toogoolawah Rodeo – about an hour and a half’s drive from Brisbane.
It resumes next week when I slide into the driver’s seat of a maui motorhome and spend seven days traversing the region to capture promotional pictures of its tourist highlights.

This is the first time I’ve been commissioned to shoot in “my own backyard” (Queensland) so I’m looking forward to it.

Here’s a quick peek (below) of some of the photographs captured on what turned into a fun day at the rodeo – in fact, the first one I’ve ever been to (yes, remind me never to wear my shorts again). Cowboys, cowgirls, big belt buckles, dust n country music, combined with some fast horses, some big bulls obviously keen to be anywhere else, and some serious courage needed to ride ‘em.

All up, for us city slickers, a highly recommended day trip from Brisbane (particularly if you’re a photographer keen to find characters to shoot, and work on your sense of timing with a long lens).

I’ll post more pics of the region in about a week.

Click below for a few quick tips about rodeo photography:


– Get there early to work out who’s bursting from where, and where the best light’s likely to come from.
– Study the program so you can position yourself for the events with the most action.
– Find yourself a couple of characters (like Ross – at the top of the page –  who walks with a limp, I assumed because of a horse injury, but it was because of a crocodile bite that took off half his calf) and try to position them in an appealing light.
– If you do get “behind the scenes,” stand out of the way and watch for a while before picking your moment to move in close (or you’re likely to get horned by a bull or, worse still, run over by a determined cowboy).
– Use the barrier rails to frame your subject or draw your viewer’s eye to the action.