Behind-the-Camera of Photojournalist Nic Coury in Monterey County, California.

July 20, 2010

2010 California Rodeo Salinas

I shot the 100th annual California Rodeo Salinas this past weekend at the Salinas Sports Complex and donned my (uncomfortable) cowboy boots for a few nights to fit in...

I went to high school in Salinas and was surrounded by the cowboy culture and dislike country music, but I love shooting rodeo events.

Here's a video—shot my Nikon D300s—from Sunday afternoon at the rodeo.

Below are my five favorite images and why I like them.

Professional Bull Riding.

You are right in there with the cowboy and the bull is almost coming right at you, which is pretty frightening. Also, the height of the bull is quite unreal.

Bareback Bronc Riding.

The rider's expression after getting tossed off it great. I can feel his pain as the bucking horse trots off in the other direction.

Freestyle Bullfighting.

I got lucky with my shooting position here, but it just scares me as I scan through this series of photos and watch the entire thing unfold.

Steer Wrestling.

I love the shots where it shows both the animal and cowboy on the ground. They're on the same level and both exhausted.

Cowboys in the chutes.

His funny sneer is great and I love how you can not really see his eyes under the sea of cowboy hat.

~ nic

July 12, 2010

Hawk Mazzotta

On Sunday afternoon I got together with my buddy Hawk Mazzotta who is an AMA motorcycle racer. I shot him last week at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca as he was testing a bike.

He needed some shots to promote some of his sponsors, so I made up a makeshift studio and we went to work.

~ nic

July 11, 2010

Coming Soon.

Coming soon...

~ nic

July 8, 2010

Yahama R1 Track Test at Laguna Seca.

Hawk Mazzotta exits turn 2 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on his Honda CR 650 during morning warm ups.

Motorcycles are back on track. Finally.

My buddy Hawk Mazzotta who used to race in the AMA was track testing a Yamaha R1 at Laguna Seca today and as I was on a day off, I was of course at the track.

Hawk during an interview.

Hawk on the R1 checks the track as he exits turn 8 and 8a—the "corkscrew."

The R1 was set up for the same superbike specs that the AMA and World Superbike (WSBK) guys use, with changes to fit their own riding style.

Hawk was having some gearbox problems and was checking the tightness of shifter.

Track days have a 92 decibel sound limit, so many riders have to quiet their race engines.

The R1 coasts out of the "corkscrew."

One of the other things I got to do was test out a new long lens I bought: a 300mm f/2.8.

As expected, it was stupid sharp and super fast focusing.

A rider turns as they take on turn 8.

A slower pan shot shows a rider straightening the bike after turn 3.

~ nic