Let ‘er buck! That’s the phrase that rings throughout the small town of Pendleton, Oregon during the second full week of September where over 50,000 people descend to watch or participate in the Pendleton Round Up Rodeo. This rodeo is unique in that since its inception in 1910 it has included a large Native American presence. Over 300 tee pees are set up on the rodeo grounds where members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla gather to visit with one another and participate in displays of their culture. One of my favorite events was the Indian Relay race where members of several tribes compete in a bareback horse race around the track. It’s mind blowing to think that these athletes are able to ride at tremendous speed without the need for saddles, spurs or any of the other trappings of horse racing to which I am accustomed. On the Saturday morning of the big rodeo weekend, the tribes invite the public to come down to the grass field of the stadium and watch as the tribal dance competitions take place. There is drumming, singing and dancing where contestants are divided up by age and gender, then judged on their dancing skills. Below are some of my favorite images from the 4 days that I covered just last weekend. Enjoy and let ‘er buck!
Assignments from the New York Times are always a great exercise because the turn-around time is often very short. For most other assignments, I have at least a week or so where I can research the subject, scout the location, and get a sense of what the weather will be like on the shoot date. Last week I was assigned to photograph for Nicholas Kristof’s Op-Ed about empathy. The subject of the story had passed away, and it wasn’t possible to cover the funeral because of the deadline for the paper, so I was asked to photograph the story subject’s brother. I arrived at the location and had a quick look around. The first image I was asked to make was of Mr. Green holding a photo of his brother. The best picture available was on a smartphone. That picture-of-a-picture worked well to show a current image of the subject, but was very literal. It served to illustrate what Kevin looked like prior to his passing.
The possibilities for making a stronger image unfolded within the hour or so I had to complete the job. The subject was a kind, gentle man who, despite his hurt foot, was willing to walk a short distance to stand in the glorious sunshine. The idea I had discussed with my editor was to place him in the context of the family farm. It was a bucolic Oregon scene: an old barn, some rusty farm equipment, and a very willing beagle. These together provided the setting for our subject. Mr. Green moved naturally into this position which suggests sadness, so all I had to do was to be sure that the focus and exposure were set properly. I think it worked well. What do you think?
The photos that were used are below.
Today, Travel Oregon launched a story online about Crater Lake and included a gallery of my photographs to illustrate the text. Crater Lake National Park is the only National Park in the State of Oregon and attracts close to 500,000 people annually. The lake itself was formed when Mt. Mazama collapsed approximately 7700 years ago. This lake which formed inside the caldera is fed almost entirely by snow melt and is the deepest lake in the United States, at just under 600 meters deep. The clarity and blueness of the water are unique and is one of the major draws to the park. There was no image manipulation to enhance the color in the pictures – it’s truly that blue, particularly when you visit on a sunny day, which, in Oregon, can be a gamble. I did use a circular polarizing filter to help remove surface glare for some of the images. The 2.2 mile round trip Cleetwood Cove Trail is the only access to the water where tourists are able to take a boat trip and explore the interior of the volcanic basin. The historic Crater Lake Lodge, which was recently renovated, sits on the edge of the caldera and offers sweeping views of the lake from it’s porch. It’s the perfect place to sit and contemplate the volcanism of the region whilst enjoying a local beer, glass of wine or perhaps a cup of coffee. The rooms are cozy but if you want to stay here, it’s best to make your reservations well in advance. Since it is only open seasonally, the rooms fill up quickly. Otherwise, the park offers many hiking trails and the nearby Mazama Village offers some camping options.
A tip for photographing Crater Lake – a circular polarizer filter can be instrumental for helping take great images of the lake on a calm day. I always have a few of these tucked in my kit as they are handy for other situations where water, or other glare, can be a problem.
Please note that all images on this site are copyright protected and may not be used without express permission from Susan Seubert.
I haven’t yet joined Twitter because I’m finding it difficult enough to keep up with all the other social networking demands of this one woman band so I was pleased when I opened up my latest issue of National Geographic Traveler (the Jan./Feb. 2012 issue) to find this:
When I found out that this image had been selected for the cover of the October 2011 issue on Real Food Experiences I was, of course, thrilled, (and blogged about it earlier), but it’s nice to know that other people are willing to put their thoughts about the image on Twitter. The tweet was from Jessica, WhyGo Italy @italylogue. This image has always been one of my favorites not only because it celebrates one of the many things I love about Oregon, but it features one of my favorite wineries, the Brick House Vineyard in Dundee. Our goal when we were producing this image was to make it inviting – as though one would want to walk into the picture, sit down, pour a nice glass of pinot noir then sit around and visit with friends in Oregon Wine Country. Thank you Jessica for your nice comment, and thank you National Geographic Traveler for using the image to illustrate your issue about food. Cheers!