Photographer's Note

Rodeo clowns are dressed as clowns and they can be funny and sometimes pretend to be whimsical but their jobs are very important ones that they take very seriously. They can be the matter of life and death for the rodeo cowboys. Their secondary job is to amuse the audience with their antics and by exchanging jokes and wise cracks with the rodeo announcers (see his wireless microphone), but their primary role it is to physically distract the nasty tempered rodeo bulls and horses from causing serious injury or death after the cowboys are thrown off or jump off the twisting and turning animals. This job can be as dangerous as that of the rodeo cowboy and rodeo clowns are gifted athletes in their own right. They have to be physically strong and have lightning fast reflexes and be graceful. When I observe these amazing athletes and showmen, I believe that many of these courageous characters must have had some background in gymnastics because their power, agility and grace is amazing to watch. All of these tough characters have farming and ranching backgrounds and this hard and demanding work toughens them up. It is no Western sterotype; the rugged cowboys and rodeo clowns are the real deal.

This nice gentleman, a Western Montana native, is a long standing rodeo clown and a regular performer for the National Western Stockshow. He took an intermission break and retrieved his sleepy daughter who just awakened from her nap. When he approached me I identified myself and asked if he would like to pose for a couple of moments and he graciously responded. I sent him some photos later and he was kind enough to sign a model release form for him and his daughter. This adorable little girl is about ten years old now.

The National Western Stockshow and Rodeo is an indoor event which is held in January of each year and this accounts for the dark background. I was only interested in properly exposing the subjects and the dark background was just fine with me because I like dark, uncluttered backgrounds when they occur.

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Additional Photos by Stan Obert (scobert) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1170 W: 17 N: 1848] (5355)
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