ACMSA - Arizona Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association
Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre - Queen Creek, Arizona
I made it out to the last day of the ACMSA Arizona Cowboy Mounted Shooters Association event on Saturday. Although it was a cold and rainy day here in the desert southwest, it didn't stop the action. Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre in beautiful Queen Creek has a covered arena so the festivities continued. I'm sure riding from the horse stalls to the arena wasn't fun at times but once under cover it was nice and dry. The wind wasn't too bad so that was a plus but with the dark cloud cover, the arena was challenging to photograph in. It was not optimal shooting conditions but still doable.
With the dark conditions, it was pretty exciting to see the gun fire coming out in a golden glow, casting embers into the air as the bullet fragments burst the balloons. Although I shoot black and white for these type of events, I still think it translates well with my contrasty and grainy style of photography for this old west themed competition. For me, I hate the look of digital photos. I love grain and with the amazing western wear that the athletes compete in, black and white really puts the focus on the action and emotion of the event while creating an uncluttered scene.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, Cowboy Mounted Shooting is really fun to watch. It is exciting and fast paced and if you blink you just might miss a rider cruising through their stage. Honestly, I never would of thought I'd enjoy shooting this type of sport. I think because I try to capture a different point of view than most that photograph Cowboy Mounted Shooting, it keeps me fresh and always looking for the ultimate shot that encompasses the whole event, not just the action inside the arena.
While out at Horseshoe Park for the last couple events I have been so fortunate to meet such down to earth and amazing people. The reception has been overwhelming and this week in particular, my wife and I were able to hang out and get to know some of the awesome riders along with their friends and families. Having a crash course on Cowboy Mounted Shooting has really helped as well. My first time out photographing this sport, I had no idea what was going on and what the rules were. Now I can really appreciate the sport and just how talented these riders are. Huge thanks to my new Cowboy Mounted Shooting family, we had so much fun and look forward to seeing you all again soon!