So after the first two performances and being briefed on the pecking order, I decided that I was going to have to take things into my own hands. Ten days of shooting from above or from a less-than-optimal spot in the corral was not going to get me what I needed, and ultimately it’s my responsibility to solve the set of problems that stand in my way – literally and figuratively. We covered doing this at multi-day events in our interview with Matthew Stockman in Episode 8.
While I was shooting on Thursday and Friday, I was scanning the arena for places that would give me the angles I wanted, whether they were accessible to me or not. After a while I identified four spots, the bottom of the aisles on the right and left of each end. These spots are higher off the ground than I would have liked, but they offered head-on views of both the bucking chutes and the timed event chutes, and I could see that if I sat on the bottom step, I wouldn’t be blocking anyone’s view.
So the calculus is: Will the pictures be worth it? Are you creating a safety hazard? Are you blocking anyone who paid to be there? If the answers are Yes, No, No, then you have to at least consider risking the wrath of the media people and going for it. For me it worked (I finally got the straight-up action pictures of Billy that I needed, and can experiment more in the remaining performances, and no one said anything to me or probably even noticed.)
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