Cheyenne Frontier Days was quite a learning experience for me. It’s the first time I’ve had the opportunity to cover such a large sporting event. In college I covered the Little 500 bicycle race. It was an event that I at the time thought was huge. Not so much. Not to take anything away from Little 500, but it is not as massive as CFD. Ten days can really chew you up and spit you out. It’s quite a grind. I learned most importantly it is a marathon not a sprint. I also learned to bring Claritin to the arena. I’m apparently allergic to rodeo. This made the second week difficult as I battled allergies. After covering this year’s CFD, I’m already looking forward to next year’s event. I now know what to expect and imagine my coverage next year will improve because of my experiences this year.
Cheyenne Frontier Days was my first experience shooting a rodeo. But to say that CFD is just a rodeo is understating the “Daddy of ’em All.” It’s billed as a celebration of western culture, and it lives up to that description. For ten days, Cheyenne is drastically transformed from a sleepy western city into a booming tourist destination where cowboy hats are the norm. CFD is a very visually diverse event for a photographer. Aside from the rodeo there are events and opportunities for great pictures every day. Downtown pancake breakfasts, parades, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and nightly concerts are just some of the events I had the opportunity to cover this year away from the daily rodeo action. Here is part one of a two-part series featuring 42 of my favorites from Cheyenne Frontier Days. I will post part two on Thursday along with more of my reflections on the assignment.
Finally it’s over. Today was the final day of Cheyenne Frontier Days. I wasn’t shooting in the photo pit at the area, which freed me up to roam around a bit during the finals themselves. I spent about an hour inside an area behind the chutes where the cowboys get ready for their rides. During most of the rodeo, I shot from the upper deck down onto the riders in an attempt to get a cleaner background. I’m going to post more of my favorites as a wrap up to CFD sometime later this week.
Today was my final day as the main shooter for rodeo this year. I shot 5,495 frames and here are two of my favorites from the day’s action: