It took at least 45 minutes to track down my photo pass for the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) event at the E Center Saturday night (October 6). When I finally got into the arena, the show had already begun. So it was scramble time.
I started shooting from the low angle, which is usually cool for events like this because it’s an angle that most people don’t see from their seats high up in the arena. But as you can see in the above photo, too many problems with the low angle:
flashing lights flaring into the lens (see how red that shot above is?).
people in the background.
bad light, and little of it.
I weighed my options. There was this little pillbox in the middle of the arena, where two photographers at a time could shoot from. Problem with that, it looked like the same bad angle, just closer.
I left my exclusive ringside spot and climbed up into the cheap seats, which gave me a nice clean angle.
From above, the 300mm lens was a little tight, but I kept at it. Bull riding is so random that you can’t second guess your lens decision. You’ll miss a few shots, but stick with it.
That’s Cole Taylor (above) getting out of the way of the bull Bo Hot Coffee.
Utah rider Tony Mendes scored an 87.25 and the place went nuts.
This was a scary moment. Colby Yates flew off the bull High Waters, landing hard on his arm. Medical staff quickly converged on him and helped him out of the ring. He walked out in obvious pain. According to the PBR, Yates suffered a concussion and a lacerated chin when he was hit by the bull’s horn.
Anyway, the advantages of the view from above:
better light, and more of it.
That’s Beau Hill riding Hocus Pocus.