Rodeo Austin and Star of Texas Fair

I’m going to start off with an apology for this huge over-share of photos! Two trips to the Star of Texas Fair, one in the daytime with children sans husband, and another at night with just my hubby, yielded hundreds of photos. I am so very excited about my nighttime shots… I’ve been wanting to capture the lights of the fair with slow shutter speed for a long time and I have to say it was oodles of fun to achieve this goal. But first…

I took the kids on an overcast afternoon for our first visit. I love seeing the wonder in the littles’ eyes.

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair

Anna and Dominic were not at ALL interested in riding any rides so we wandered around, had a snack, and played a few midway games. By far, their most favorite part of the event was the very large, very populated petting zoo.

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair petting zoo

The goats are always the pushiest, aren’t they? Dominic got cornered but thought it was funny.

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair petting zoo

I love that sweet smile!

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair petting zoo

Dominic only wanted to participate in one ride… this walking on water thing that he did last year. It’s pretty cool!

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair

So that was pretty much our kid-trip to the Austin Rodeo and Star of Texas Fair. Very spur of the moment, mid-week, I asked my mom to sit with the kids after they went to bed and I dragged Curtis out the door with a ton of camera gear. We arrived at the fair about 9 p.m. and I was pleased to see how hopping it was. Curtis and I visited with the animals. The lighting was horrendous, so please forgive the wonky white balance issues!

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair longhorn

This is the biggest set of horns I’ve ever seen on a longhorn! Wowza!

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair longhorn

Sweet baby calf with his momma.

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair

They had an incubator with eggs and newly hatched chicks, and this other display with older chicks. I actually stuck my camera lens through one of the vent holes to get this shot. Shh!

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair

Now! Onto the good stuff!!! I put on my wide angle lens, mounted the camera on the tripod, attached the remote release, and laid down in the middle of the crowd to set up for this series of shots. I later learned that this ferris wheel is quite famous, being adorned with $130,000 worth of Italian lights. It’s the most photographed ferris wheel ever and has been featured on more magazine covers than any other ferris wheel in history. I set my shutter speed for 1 second and snapped away to capture the beauty of the lights. Please forgive the plethora of images… I could not possibly choose just one or two to share. πŸ™‚

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair ferris wheelAustin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair ferris wheelAustin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair ferris wheelAustin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair ferris wheelAustin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair ferris wheelAustin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair ferris wheelAustin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair ferris wheelAustin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair ferris wheelAustin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair ferris wheel

Turning around 180-degrees, I got this image of the merry-go-round. I love all of the cowboy hats in silhouette.

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair merry-go-round

A bit further down, the Tower of Power ride was loading passengers. These were captured at a 3-second shutter speed.

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair Tower of PowerAustin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair Tower of PowerAustin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair Tower of Power

We then wandered the midway for a while. I’ve always been fascinated with the sideshow but have never gone inside. It feels too voyeuristic and uncomfortable to me to step inside.

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair midway

The Star Ship ride is quite popular and always has a long line queued for the experience.

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair starship

The Raven is another popular ride. This was a fun series to capture. I used several different shutter speeds ranging from 2.5 to 4 seconds to get these photos.

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair ravenAustin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair ravenAustin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair ravenAustin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair raven

One of my favorite childhood rides was the Scrambler, here called the Tornado and the Sizzler.

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair tornado scrambler

I swapped lenses and got a distance shot of the Ferris Wheel through the midway crowd.

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair midway ferris wheel

And a bit closer view.

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair ferris wheel

One of my favorites from the evening was this shot of a midway game with the crowds parted at just the right time.

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair midway

This image makes me laugh out loud! How appropriate to line up the Freak Out with a gaggle of teenage girls walking by.

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair midway

My last series of a ride in action involves the Sky Fire. This ride has two buckets that swing in opposite directions that gain momentum slowly until they eventually revolve a full 360-degrees. I’ve heard the gleeful screams of the riders and seen many lost papers and pocket items fall to the ground from this one. I used shutter speeds from 1 to 5 seconds to capture these images.

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair sky fireAustin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair sky fireAustin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair sky fireAustin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair sky fireAustin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair sky fire

The bumper cars look so colorful and fun at night. We were winding down, getting ready to leave, when I got this shot.

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair bumper cars

And my last image of the evening… a wide angle shot of the midway as we neared the exit gates. Another favorite.

Austin lifestyle photographer Rodeo Star of Texas Fair midway

Thanks for looking and for sharing my fun-filled photography experience at the Austin Rodeo and Star of Texas Fair. Next year, I might spring for actual rodeo tickets and see some bull-riding! Something I have yet to experience.

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  • angela king - holly these are ahhhhhhhhhhmazing! i love all of them but especially the night shots. i can see why it was hard to choose just a few. i’ve always wanted to get shots like that too but i haven’t been to the fair in years and years. i’m going to disney in june. i’ll try to get some night shots just for you. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Gretchen - Wow, Holly, those shots are all amazing. I won’t lie – I skipped to the end to see the nighttime shots first! πŸ™‚ I am seriously impressed that you laid down & set up a tripod & took those photos. I am still a bit too afraid of looking silly but in reality I know I wouldn’t – I would just look like a photographer! Great job capturing the shots, and great job having the nerve to do it too!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - Holly, LOVE all the shots! And props for taking your tripod and remote to the fair. I’m too wimpy to even take my camera out in public at times. The nighttime ones are amazing. And looks like your kids had fun too. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Alison Crane - I love all the sweet animals! The ride images are crazy cool! I love how you captured them!ReplyCancel

  • Joyce K. - Wow! look at the wonderful motions you captured and the emotion on children’s faces are just priceless!! I love this set Holly!!ReplyCancel

  • Cary - So very cool Holly!! I L-O-V-E the night light shots!!! Looks like a great time πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

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