Saint Paul Rodeo Slack rides

Hello Ladies, Last year Deri invited us to go to the "slack" rides at the Saint Paul Rodeo.

This is when the rodeo runs overflow rides for a few events. it was fantastic last year because there were very few people in the audience so you can get a good view of the arena. Plus it was free to get in. They do steer wrestling, Tie Dow roping, and team roping. I don't think they do bull riding, though.


I highly recommend going if you are interested in shooting fast activity. Deri will be there all three days. So she will be the contact person. I will be on vacation in Mexico.  Keep in mind that the slacks on the 3rd and 5th will have the most contestants.  The very last slack usually has the least number of contestants.

I usually shoot at the following settings:

1/800 second -1/1200 second for the speed.  Set the camera to shutter priority ("tv" for a Canon, other brands might have it as a "s").Speed is critical in order to capture the fast action and get crisp images.

Set the camera to "High Speed Continuous Mode". The symbol for this is usually a series of overlapping boxes.  When you press the shutter, it should fire off multiple shots all at once. I usually fire off a burst of 4-5 shots to ensure that I get some good images off each action shot.  It also improves your chances of getting a perfectly focused image.

Focus should be set to "al servo" for a Canon or "Continuous Focus" on a Nikon.

Exposure metering can be set at the default (usually Evaluative or Matrix metering).

I usually set my white balance to shady to add a little warmth to the pictures.

I keep the ISO at 100 for day time shooting.  If I am shooting the rodeo at night I switch the ISO over to Auto as I need the shutter speed to stay above 800 for action shots.  I really prefer to have the shutter speed above 1000, but that is all dependent on light.....

The aperture is going to vary per shot, but I like a more open aperture (f4-f8) just to create some blurring in the background, although this also depends on your lens.

Check out the website to get more information:

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  • Deri D.

    After taking close to 10,000 photos between the PBR, St Paul Rodeo and the first 2 slacks, I am not sure if I will make this slack or not. If I do, I will be wondering around the grounds to get behind the scenes shots......

    July 6, 2013

  • Marlene

    I just found out that I need to work tomorrow, so I'm going to have to pass on the fun....:(.

    July 5, 2013

  • Deri D.

    Hi all, I posted a set of recommend camera settings. If in doubt, bring your camera manual to the rodeo. I can help out with Canons but am not at all familiar with Nikons....

    June 30, 2013

  • Deri D.

    Hi all, If anyone wants to shoot pictures of bull riders, bareback riders and saddle broncs, these are during the normal rodeo performance. I might have some extra box seat tickets to the St Paul Rodeo performance on July 4th, afternoon performance. I got 2 boxes right up front (seats 6 each) and will probably have 2 or 3 extra spaces. In order to buy box seat tickets I had to purchase all 6 tickets per box.....I only have a few people going with me on July 4 (afternoon performance), so I will be selling a couple of the seats for what I paid for them......
    I also have front row boxes for the PBR on the 2nd (Professional Bull riding) but don't have any extra seats for that........
    If anyone is interested in July 4th, the front row box seats are $24.00, contact me at[masked]

    June 28, 2013

  • Deri D.

    Hi Kristy, thanks for catching that! I have corrected the time on the Saturday slack. It is at 3 pm. Since the slack is at 3 pm there is a $5.00 parking fee. In addition to the slack there is a carnival (all day). For the other 2 slacks, if you are there before 0800, there is no parking fee. Of course you can also park out on the road for free....
    The first 2 slacks normally have the highest number of contestants.....

    June 28, 2013

  • Kristy

    Hi all, in looking at the website it looks like the schedule has changed. Im seeing that the slack events are actually as follows:
    July 3- 8am
    July 5- 8am
    July 6- 3pm

    Do we know for sure?

    June 27, 2013

  • Marlene

    This is my first rodeo....looking forward to it!

    June 13, 2013

    • Deri D.

      Awesome! As we get closer to the rodeo, I ill put out some more specific information. I go to all of the slacks each year. I love being right up in the front box seats and also love the fact that it is free......

      June 13, 2013

  • Susan T.

    Sounds really fun

    June 9, 2013

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