Rodeo in the American West

A few years back, I kind of fell into rodeo. An airplane company named Cirrus Aircraft called and asked if I’d like to come pick up an airplane at the factory in Minnesota, fly it to Colorado, pick up a pro rodeo cowboy, fly to rodeos for a week and make a story about it. I was living in NYC at the time and rodeo was pretty foreign to me so I thought, Why not?

The couple weeks around the July 4th holiday is the busiest time of the year for rodeo. They call it Cowboy Christmas, and we crisscrossed the American West by small plane for seven days. It was exhausting.  One of the things I love about photography, is the ability to experience new worlds. Rodeo is the history of the American West and the first extreme sport. It’s visually compelling and still has a sense of innocence compared to the extreme commercialism of other spectator sports.  

I fell in love with rodeo; it is achingly photogenic.

  • 1 DSC3281 Rodeo Berlin(1)

    Jeff Berlin

    USA

    Sony α7R, Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA 1/1600sec, F3.5, ISO 10

    Parallel Parking, Horses of the Flying U Rodeo

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  • 2 DSC3527 Rodeo Berlin(1)

    Jeff Berlin

    USA

    Sony α7ΙΙ, Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA 1/4000sec, F1.8, ISO 100

    In rodeo, the horses are considered athletes as much as the cowboys

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  • 3 DSC3829 Rodeo Berlin(1)

    Jeff Berlin

    USA

    Sony α7ΙΙ, Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA 1/160sec, F5.6, ISO 100

    Program girls

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  • 4 DSC3367 Rodeo Berlin(1)

    Jeff Berlin

    USA

    Sony α7ΙΙ, Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA 1/200sec, F5.6, ISO 100

    Ropers taking in the action from behind the timed events area.

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  • 5 DSC2945 Rodeo Berlin(1)

    Jeff Berlin

    USA

    Sony α7ΙΙ, Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA 1/2500sec, F1.8, ISO 160

    Ava, Program Girl

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  • 6 DSC3239 Rodeo Berlin(1)

    Jeff Berlin

    USA

    Sony α7ΙΙ, Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA 1/2500sec, F1.8, ISO 100

    Tristen ready to rope the dummy calf

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  • 7 DSC3405 Rodeo Berlin 1

    Jeff Berlin

    USA

    Sony α7ΙΙ, Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA 1/125sec, F3.5, ISO 100

    In rodeo, it’s all about the buckle. Miss Rodeo Nevada

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  • 8 DSC3328 Rodeo Berlin(1)

    Jeff Berlin

    USA

    Sony α7R, Sonnar T* FE 35mm F2.8 ZA 1/500sec, F1.7, ISO 160

    Bareback rider Anthony Thomas, hand on horse, kneels to pray before his go round.

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  • 9 DSC3888 Rodeo Berlin(1)

    Jeff Berlin

    USA

    Sony α7ΙΙ, Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA 1/1600sec, F2.8, ISO 160

    Bareback rider Anthony Thomas jumping into the bucking chute during the rodeo’s evening performance

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  • 10 DSC6666 Rodeo Berlin(1)

    Jeff Berlin

    USA

    Sony α6000, FE 70-200MM F4 G OSS, 1/320sec, F4, ISO 2500

    A Saddle Bronc rider hanging on for the 8 second buzzer

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  • 11 DSC3465 Rodeo Berlin(1)

    Jeff Berlin

    USA

    Sony α7ΙΙ, Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA 1/60sec, F1.8, ISO 1600

    Barrel Racer Sarah Rose McDonald cooling down her horse after her run. She is #2 in the world rankings.

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  • 12 DSC1896 Rodeo Berlin(1)

    Jeff Berlin

    USA

    Sony α7S, Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA 1/60sec, F1.8, ISO 3200

    Dancing in the Jack Daniel’s tent after the rodeo.

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Jeff Berlin

Jeff Berlin, Artisan Of Imagery

“I want the camera to become an extension of me so I can focus on the image, the light and the creative.”

“I work on a lot of varied projects and to be able to work with some of the best, most current equipment available is amazing. Sony is very forward-thinking and really pushing technology. They’re continually innovating and it’s a lot of fun to participate with them in this innovation.”

During his career as an image maker, Jeff Berlin’s work has spanned various genres and afforded him the opportunity to live and work in cities such as Paris, Milan and New York.

Recently, he has been transitioning into moving image work, as well as pioneering the process of ‘cinephotography’; the process of pulling still photos from the motion files of very high definition digital cinema cameras like the Sony F55 and F65. 

Jeff joins Sony Global Imaging Ambassadors alongside the Sony Artisans of Imagery.

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