Every year in honour of Australia Day, January 2012 – we headed 2.5 south west of Sutherland to Rodeo town, Taralga in country NSW. Yes, just as you see it on American TV, except right here in good old Australia, and what a truly awesome experience. My first ever. The Taralga Rodeo, an annual event, bursting with energy, smells and sights to elicit a sensory overload. As you walk around, you inhale the unique scent of dust, watch it rise into the air, hear the vibrations of good old country music blasting out the loud speaker while the commentator introduces each new cowboy, bull, horse and steer.
Every direction you turn is a hive of activity. Children, dressed in adorable cowboy gear, running around, ice cream cones and chocolate melting down their shirts, laughing and playing.
The unmistakable sexy testosterone all around you, cowboys milling about, smeared with dust, euphoric smiles on their faces, some unwinding under a shady tree, smoke and beer in hand, others lovingly caring for their horses. Who knew a good cowboy hat and chaps could be so alluring.
It was a day of delights for me. Not an easy event to photograph as I discovered. But you slowly improve as the day progresses. You find out what works, what doesn’t. When’s the best time to hit the shutter. Pay close attention to the gates opening, when the bull first emerges, you can predict a horses next move, that moment when they glide past a barrel and the dust takes flight or a cowboy is just about to get thrown off and hopefully you can capture him in mid air. A day, and event I shall remember always and definitely do again.