Moving The Herd

The summer heat has set in here in Texas.  It usually takes a couple of weeks for me to adapt because of my Meniere’s Disease.  This year for some reason it doesn’t seem that it wants to cooperate.  This has been going on for the past couple of months.  We have had a lot more humidity here so I am thinking that has something to do with it as we typically have very little this time of the year.  Needless to say I haven’t felt like doing much.  Realizing I haven’t posted any photograph for a while I thought I better take the time.

The photograph above is another from a couple of months ago during the spring roundup on the o6 ranch near Ft Davis, Texas.  I always prefer to try and position myself to photograph back into the sun for a particular scene such as this as it helps to illuminate the dust and add more more mood to the photograph.

The Rugged Beauty Of The o6 Ranch

The photograph above is another from the spring roundup at the o6 ranch near Ft Davis, Texas.  Looking at the beauty and ruggedness of the land, one can see why I always look forward to my visits to the o6 as well as the opportunity to photograph the cowboys and cowgirls.

Ranch Rodeo Time

Springtime in Texas also means that it’s time for the ranch rodeos to begin.  Many of these events are hosted by the smaller communities here in Texas and draw quite a large number of spectators.  These are all family friendly events which seems to be getting harder and harder to find these days.  I actually much prefer to photograph at these smaller events as they are held at outdoor arenas, affording the opportunity to photograph in that beautiful late afternoon light.  The people you meet are genuine and are always glad that you took the time to come and be a part of their event.

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These particular images are from the Wild Horse Prairie Days ranch rodeo in Haskell, Texas located about one hour north of Abilene.  The two color images were shot on my Nikon D4 with the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.  The two black and white images were shot on the Fujifilm X-Pro2 with the 23mm f/1.4 lens.  The black and white images are jpeg files straight out of camera with not editing whatsoever using the Acros +red filter film simulation.

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Busy Times

Things have really been busy the past month.  So busy that I haven’t even had the time to sort through all of the photos from my visit to the Kokernot o6 Ranch last month.  Hopefully in another week or two I will finally get the time to set down and sort through the rest of them.  In the mean time here one of the images shot of the Fujifilm X-T1 with the new 100-400mm lens.  The was the the second opportunity that I had to photograph working cowboys with the Fuji cameras.  And yes I also show with the new X-Pro2 as well.  Stay tuned as I will be posting more photos shot with both the Fujis and well as my usual Nikon gear.

Great To Be Back On The o6 Ranch


Wow, things have really been busy.  It’s been so busy that I haven’t had time to post any photos in a while.  The West Texas Photographic Society annual exhibit opens next week so I’ve been busy in making preparations.  I did manage to make it back to the o6 Ranch this year for the spring roundup.  It has been a couple of years as I have had scheduling conflicts.  I did finally get all of the photos downloaded but have not had time to really sit down and review them.

In the mean time here is a quick edit of one of the photographs above.  I love photographing during the sweet light of the early morning.  The photograph shows the cowboys and cowgirls heading out to begin rounding up the cattle.  Stay tuned.  Hopefully I will find the time to post more images.

Photographing in Harsh Light

Whenever I have the opportunity to photograph working cowboys one doesn’t have an option as to the time of day to photography. Hence you aren’t always rewarded with the most beautiful lighting.  After all these are working cowboys doing their job so your photographing during their work schedule.  That can mean photographing during the harsh midday light when can lead to contrasty images with hard shadows.  The images from such a shoot are normally good candidates to convert from color to black and white.

These photographs are from the spring roundup on the o6 Ranch, located between Alpine and Ft Davis, Texas.  The late morning sun provided pretty harsh light.  The clear blue sky amplified the harshness of the lighting conditions.  Covering the images to black and white provides almost a high key look to the photographs.  I added a very slight sepia tone just to add and little warmth to the photographs as well as provide a little aged look to the images.

Little Trail Boss

It was the first light of the day as the early morning sun began to illuminate the wide open spaces of the o6 Ranch. Time to get to work and begin locating and rounding up the cattle. On this particular morning our little four-legged trail boss was going non-stop orchestrating the activities of the day and assuring everything was under control. He had to work extra hard as his short little legs were having to work extra hard to keep up with the much longer-legged horses but he met the challenge. Getting this particular group of cowboys on their way he turned and headed back to the camp making sure not to miss a thing and perhaps be rewarded for his hard work with a couple of scraps of bacon. Yes, everybody has a job to do on a working ranch.

Time To Saddle-Up

Recently I’ve been going back and re-visiting some of my older images, in particular many of my images of life on the ranch and working cowboys as I am in the process of putting together a portfolio of about thirty images. I have also been re-processing some of these images in Lightroom, trying a few different looks as new tools have been added to the software since I made many of these images as well as my processing skills have changed over the years.

The photograph above is another from one of my visits to the o6 Ranch located in the Davis Mountains. The cowboys and cowgirls are selecting their mount for the day’s work from the ranch remuda (herd of working ranch horses). Things can get a little hectic as well as challenging while trying to compose and build layers of activity into a photograph that tells a story. The biggest challenge with trying to compose such an image is staying out of the way and not get run over. As with all other things, with experience one learns to feel the rhythm of the activity and where best to place yourself as to afford the best possible images while

Hanging On

This is another photograph from the Benjamin Ranch Rodeo. It had been a while since I had done any action type photography with a zoom lens as the majority of my wildlife photography is done with a prime telephoto lens. Trying to zoom and frame the shot while at the same time maintain focus on the subject posed a few challenges as I quickly realized I had become a bit rusty from my lack of action photography lately but I managed to grab some keepers. This particular image of a young bronc rider was shot with a 70-200mm lens and is a bit tighter within the frame than I prefer but again that comes from being a bit rusty. I like the position of the horse, the dust and the dirt flying from the hooves of the horse. Yes it would have been better to have seen the face and potential expression of the young cowboy but to quote one of the great philosophers of our time, Mick Jagger, “You can’t always get what you want”.

Also from my previous post your probably have noticed I have been dabbling a bit with black & white photography. It is where I started. The majority of great and memorable images were shot in black and white. Shooting black and white images removes the color as a distraction leaving only the lines, shapes, tones and textures of the image. Black and white doesn’t necessarily work for all images but I felt that it work for this one.