Grad Student Captures Photo Award

American Association of Geographers Competition

Photo with cowboys and horses in a horse ring.
Geography Grad student Mitchell Snyder’s winning photo “Rodeo" recently captured a landscape photography award. (Courtesy of Mitchel Snyder)

Quick Summary

  • A UC Davis doctoral candidate won first place for his photo “Rodeo” in a landscape photo competition

UC Davis geography doctoral candidate Mitchell Snyder recently won first place in the Landscape Photography Competition, hosted by the American Association of Geographers Landscape Specialty Group.

Snyder’s winning photo was titled, “Rodeo.” The judges commented that his photo “captures the character of a region, conveying movement and a timelessness that is captivating.”

The photo competition is a signature event at the AAG's annual meeting, providing an opportunity to convey landscape-related research in a visual way.

Snyder discussed how he captured his award-winning shot: “I was traveling through the Eastern Sierra and stopped in the Bridgeport Valley, which is approximately 90 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe and near the California and Nevada border. I was walking through the town and when I reached the end of the main street I saw a ranch road and walked up it. I came across the arena, which looked like it was a venue for regional rodeo and fair events and saw the subjects riding around in the ring," he said. "I walked up with three cameras around my neck and asked if they minded if I took some photographs and walked around. The riders said that they didn't mind, and carried on practicing lassoing the bull calf.”

He said he took about 50 photos during the session. 

“I've been shooting digital for five years, film for two, and love each medium for the differences that they offer. I was alternating between two of my cameras when shooting this scene, but the photo I liked the most came from my digital camera (a matter of timing).”

He said he mainly photographs landscape.

“I try whenever possible to find photographs in day-to-day life, and has taken thousands of photos in the past few years. “But images like the one I entered are few and far between. I would say that, out of all of the photos I've taken, maybe 10 or 15 are on par with this one.”

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