A day at the rodeo

3 November 2009

Written by: Christopher Scanlon

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As a boy growing up on the fringes of suburbia, I always had a fascination with the travelling rodeos that past through. The dust, the sweat, the competition between man or woman and beast.

Over the years I’ve grown less fond of the culture but have remained in awe of the spectacle, the raw display of instinct and power and the seeming disregard for the social mores that now frown on activities of this kind.

Still, a country rodeo presents an incredible opportunity for a photographer. The people are open, dressed for the occasion and enraptured with the entertainment, the riders are tough and physical, the venues are invariably dusty and hot and temporarily filled with outlandish utes, magnificent horses and locals out for a good time.

Through my essay I have hoped to capture the quieter moments, as well as the graceful and yet violent action, the relaxed joy of the crowd, the polished and buffed detail and the quiet aftermath for the animals and the somewhat sad beauty of the setting sun sighing over another country rodeo.

Cameron Gaze studied photojournalism at La Trobe University in 2009