One of the biggest problems with shooting rodeo is messy backgrounds--the fencing, livestock, and other cowboys clutter it up to begin with, and their proximity to the action makes it hard to throw all of that sufficiently out of focus, even when shooting wide open.
At the 2001 National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, I decided to head up to the concourse at the Thomas and Mack Center to try and get around that problem. Doing this during bull riding makes for a low-percentage shot, since the cowboys are usually looking down during their rides and are wearing wide-brimmed hats as well. But if everything comes together as it did here, it's a risk well worth taking.
Darren Carroll was born in New York and graduated from Georgetown University. He is now a Texas based photographer shooting portrait, lifestyle, and action assignments for editorial and advertising clients. His images have appeared in Sports Illustrated, Smithsonian, ESPN: The Magazine and Golf Digest.