Rodeo is a very physical affair. It is perhaps the most physical contact between man and animal you can think of. It is rough, sometimes even violent. Not only people get hurt but animals as well.
In steer wrestling and team roping, it is all about man and horse against steer to get the job done. It is primeval man and animal.
At some point during my rodeo days, I realized I was focusing mainly on the human side of the rodeo. Trying to catch the emotions on the faces of the cowboys. Feeling the pain, the disappointment and, of course, the triumph. Then I started zooming in on the animals. What were they feeling? Was it possible at all to capture a sense of emotion on their faces?
The interesting thing for me from a photography point of view is that by changing my focus I changed my pictures. That means you can control your output to an important extent. If you go somewhere and just wait and see what happens, you might be unprepared. I would have never taken this photo if I had not first thought of zooming in on the animals to study their emotions.
Did I succeed? Well, I am not sure. I think I see bewilderment, like a big question mark hanging above the steer’s head somewhere. It could be anxiety or even fear I saw in his eyes. But since I am not a steer, I can only wonder.
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