Rodeo Shooting

To see what is expected you can read and view Elilai Davis rodeo blog post.


Attend one complete rodeo at Bell County Expo Center start by shooting before the rodeo in the parking lots then around and throughout the arena.

When shooting take multiple lenses with you like:

  • Canon 70 – 200mm f/2.8
  • Canon 300mm  f/2.8


Using the standard 18-200 f/3.5 or 18-135 f/3.5 you want have enough light coming into the camera. Your shutter speed will have to be set too low and you’ll get a LOT of blurred images.

Rodeo’s are normally done in the following order:

  • Bareback riding – BC
  • Mutton Bustin – RC
  • Steer wrestling – RC
  • Team roping – RC
  • Saddle Bronc riding – BC
  • Tie-Down roping – RC
  • Clown act
  • Barrel Racing – BC
  • Bull riding – BC

BC – Bucking Chutes
RC – Roping Chutes


If shooting with the 300mm lens you will want to be at the opposite end of the arena to get the best shots. Shooting on floor level will place alot of black in your backgrounds. Going to the top rows of the arena will allow for more dirt to be in the photo backgrounds.

Shooting next to Bucking Chutes during the events you want a lens that allows for wide and zoom capabilities and low f/stop.


Canon 70-200 — Sit along the edge in the front rows and lower your aperture to 3.5, don’t go all the way to 2.8 – you’ll miss focusing on objects. Then your ISO will probably need to be 4000 – 5000, shutter speed no lower than 1/200.

You can also get different backgrounds to your images if you move to the area above sections 226 & 227.


Canon 300 f/2.8 – Place yourself on the oposite side of the arena when shooting with this lens. You’ll find less people in your way. Only issues are cowboys and clowns. Follow settings for Canon lens above.


Other optional lenses would be Tamron 24-75 or Canon 8-11 fisheye or Takina 11-16 wide angle — 

For these you need to be sitting directly in the front row of sections 103 or 126. You have to be as close as possible.

When done Ruthlessly Edit (delete) your images down to your top 100 images.