Molokai Rodeo, Maunaloa, Hawaii
Forget taking pictures when the horse and rider are clearly out of sync. The people in the pictures won’t thank you and the animals look daft.
Hesitate and you miss it. Moving closer to the action gives you a chance for dramatic action shots if you're fast enough, but more of the frames will look like this. And don’t use multiple exposure bursts for every shot or you’ll spend your next month sorting pictures.
Try to stay out of the action. This was a little too close for comfort. Rodeos have a dress code. Wear a cowboy hat and shirt and they might let you in the ring to take photos with charging cows, galloping horses and cowboys who will stop at nothing to win a big shiny buckle. There is no time to zoom out when a cow is bolting towards you. Panicking cows are not predictable so chances are you’ll run the wrong way. Stay further back and use the zoom, but don’t hesitate to look like a rodeo clown high tailing it over a fence, just keep your camera strap around your neck in case you suddenly need both hands. If you tend to freeze pick another subject to photograph, like bunnies sleeping in a basket.
Don’t count on people in the background to be watching the action.
Don’t count on hats to stay on.
Count on cows to jump the gun.
And expect horses to have the last laugh.
But keep smiling, no matter what.