The Buffalo Soldier

In keeping with the theme from my previous post this is another photograph of one of the reenactors for the Christmas at Fort Concho in San Angelo, Texas.  The gentleman in the photograph was awesome as he spoke to various groups of visitors about the history of the buffalo soldiers and how they got their name, given to them by the Plains Indians.  He definitely has to the gift of teaching as he captivated the attention of not only the young but also us older folks as well.  I think everybody came away more knowledgeable and a deeper respect for the role and service provided by the regiments of these African Americans during in the post-Civil War army in the American West.

The Reenactor

Sometimes we can become a little bored or hit a creative rut and so such has been the case with me lately.  I’ve also been busy not only working on my website but overhauling one of the local non-profits website as well.  So that is why I have not had the time to post any new images as we have begun a new year.

I made the photograph above of one of the reenactors during the Christmas at Fort Concho last month.  Reenactments can be a gold mine for photographic opportunities for photographing some authentic looking characters.  This particular gentleman was giving the commands for the canon battery at the time I made this photograph.  There were a total of ten canons setup and firing on all cylinders.  Needless to say the sound could be pretty deafening whenever all ten were fired at the same time.

The original image had a pretty distracting background even though I was shooting with the aperture wide open.  So I removed the background and dropped in a new textured background.  I added an additional texture on top and warmed the overall tones in order to provide sort of the appearance of an older image.  It was fun stepping outside my comfort zone and trying something new and creative.  I hope you enjoy.

Early Morning

Hard to believe that another year is coming to the end.  Where did 2015 go?  The years seem to go by faster and faster the older that I get.  It feels as if this last year went by at about 1/500th of a second.  So here is wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2016.

The photograph above depicts sunrise on the o6 Ranch, located in the Davis Mountains, Texas.  The cowboys are up before the crack of dawn for a chuck wagon breakfast out on the open range, and their horses selected from the ranch remuda, saddled and ready to go at sunrise.  As soon as it is light enough to see the cowboys head out in teams to begin the search of locating and rounding up cattle.

When photographing on an working ranches not only do I try and document the life of the working cowboy, but I also try and capture a feel for the land.  In this particular case it is the vastness of the land in which the o6 Ranch sits and the big colorful early morning sky.

Building Trust

The most important tool and companion is his horse.  More importantly is the bond and trust between a cowboy and his horse.  It is a trust that works both ways.  The cowboy must learn to trust his horse while the horse must also learn to trust it’s owner.

This sequence of photographs illustrates a young cowboy, Cooper, attempting to coax his horse to cross a small narrow stream.  The horse initially had a difference of opinion and wasn’t quite sure what to make of the situation and wasn’t trustworthy of Cooper to trust where he was trying to lead him.  Even though the stream of water was pretty narrow it was dark enough where once couldn’t clearly see the bottom.  I was almost impossible to know exactly how deep the water was without knowing ahead of time.

20151002-_D754438Cooper was patient and continued to coax his horse, trying to reassure him that everything was all right and that he could be trusted to follow is direction.

20151002-_D75443920151002-_D754445In due time the horse finally reached a point to where he placed it’s trust in Cooper and that he would ask him to do anything that would bring about any harm.  Lesson learned.  Hopefully the next time the two come to a stream to cross the foundation of trust between horse and rider will be in place knowing that each can trust the other.

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Sometimes The Best Photograph Is Simply Behind You

Throughout the years of chasing the light and making photographs, whether the subject is wildlife, landscapes, sunsets, working cowboys and cowboys, or even chasing supercell thunderstorms across the wide open plain, I have learned something that has served be well.  Sometimes the best photograph is simply behind you.

The photograph above is just such an example.  I was busy photographing cowboys and cowgirls as they were driving a herd of horses along with the assistance of their working dogs.  It can be a challenge trying to compose so many moving parts into a photographic composition and requires a lot of concentration as well as trying to capture that decisive moment.  Upon changing my current position is search for a better perspective and composition I looked to see if anything was happening behind.  That is when I saw this moment that I captured in the photograph above.  The moment was brief so I was fortunate that I turned around when I did.

So always remember to turn around a look behind you as you may be in for a big surprise and discover the better photograph is behind you.

Red Jacket

As Christmas is almost upon us it is only natural to search through your thousands of photos in search of an image with a Christmas theme.  I don’t really have such images but I have always love a sequence of images of this working cowboy in front of the aspen trees.  It is just one of those little picturesque scenes.  The cowboy’s chaps match the color of the bark of the aspen trees.  The bright red jacket stands out against the dark evergreens in the background.  Plus the fact this particular cowboy is one that is very photogenic and is just a natural in front of the camera.  I made the photograph while visiting a ranch located in the Sunlight Valley region of Wyoming.

Moving The Herd

These are a couple more images from my trip to Wyoming during the fall.  These particular photographs capture the cowboys and cowgirls driving the ranch horses to another area of the ranch.  The fall colors peaked a little earlier this year and the high winds the previous couple of days stripped many of the aspen trees of their beautiful fall foliage.  Still it made for a beautiful scene.

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National Day Of The Horse

National Day of the Horse is celebrated annually on December 13 and encourages people of the United States to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history and character of the United States.
The domesticated horse we know today were introduced into North America by Spanish explorers. Escaped horses eventually spread across the American Great Plains. The photograph above is a wild stallion near Cody, Wyoming. He carefully positioned himself between me and his gals. I patiently waited for him to turn his head towards me in order in order to be bathed by the beautiful warm sunlight of the late afternoon sun.