Chilean cowboys chase down a calf during a rodeo. The sport has been practised in the country since the 16th century and was declared the national sport in 1962 by an act of parliament. A team of two huasos (cowboys), who have to wear traditional dress, score points for pinning a calf against a padded wall as they drive it around the crescent-shaped corral.
Chile – Photo Tip

Experiment with different perspectives

Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Chile – Photo Tip Experiment with different perspectives

Argentina has its gaucho; Chile its huaso. Where the gaucho is associated with week-long drives over the vast pampas, the huasos are more tied down to their farms.

Jochem Wijnands
Jochem Wijnands Founder / photographer

The culture of the huasos is more intimate and community oriented than the Gauchos. In Chile, rodeos are a family affair, the ambiance is great and the people are super friendly.

Even the rodeo style is of a watered-down variety. It’s one exercise which consists mainly of two cowboys pinning a cow against a padded wall. Nevertheless, galloping horses trying to catch a scared cow is a challenging scene to photograph.

Fortunately, it is repeated dozens of times, so you have plenty of time to experiment and get it right. Due to the fast movements, galloping horses trying to catch a scared cow is a challenging scene to photograph.

I tried a low perspective first but didn't like the results. I walked to the opposite side of the arena for a side view of the spectacle, but that didn't work either. I then tried a more frontal view from a higher angle, which eliminated noisy elements in the background and clearly showed the three protagonists.

Then, I started playing with the shutter speed to get motion blur that would show the action, which I further emphasized by panning my camera. After two hours I had used a full range of angles and lenses and options to create these photos.

That's sometimes the way it goes in photography. You can try to get it right the first time, but you rarely can. If you prepare yourself for a long process of trial and error, the perfect shot might just as well reveal itself to you.

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During a Huaso rodeo, a team of two huasos (cowboys), who have to wear traditional dress, score points for pinning a calf against a padded wall as they drive it around the crescent-shaped corral. Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

Nikon SUPER COOLSCAN 4000 ED

During a Huaso rodeo, a team of two huasos (cowboys), who have to wear traditional dress, score points for pinning a calf against a padded wall as they drive it around the crescent-shaped corral.

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