In the moments before the ride

By Brandon Evans | Published Wednesday, March 7, 2012

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Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Light from the sun at its apex glints off a rodeo spur. The beam filters through a soft, sapphire-blue atmosphere and iron bars. A father cradles the worn leather boot carefully before handing it to his son, who is moments from riding in a saddle bronc competition.

Hours of preparation and proper planning factor into an eight-second ride. A ride that runs swift as sunlight flashing for a moment off a bit of metal. But in the mind of the young cowboy, with chemicals pumping in the brain, emotions on high-pressure like fuel pumping through gyrating parts of an internal combustion engine, the moment metamorphoses into something greater. It creates a mental imprint that distinguishes itself from other thoughts, a recollection solid as muscle and bone, leather and metal, as lasting as the hard copy of a photograph.

Our roaming photographer captured this image close to home last weekend during the high school rodeo at the Sheriff’s Posse Grounds in Decatur. Natural light dictated the timing of the photograph. Not content with just shooting the action, the story can also be told by capturing activity behind the scenes. In this case, one passing detail that leads to the moment of making a memory.

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