Fading Light

120830 ace clark 01The sun was setting fast on the Horseshoe Ranch in Battle Mountain, Nevada. Senior Editor Jennifer Denison and I were on our way to capture a portrait of Ace Clark for her article, "Last of the Bedroll Cowboys." We were right on schedule until I missed the exit, and in remote Nevada there are often many miles between highway off-ramps. By the time we found a spot to double-back for the Horseshoe, the sunlight was entering its prettiest, but very brief, stage of the day. Pulling into the ranch entrance, my mind was racing, trying to think of a way to set up a quick, environmental portrait before our light was gone. I asked Jennifer to get Ace ready quickly while I hurriedly set up my gear in front of the barn. Ace was easy to work with, his palomino was bright and cooperative, and my lights and camera gave me no trouble. In a matter of five or 10 minutes we got this portrait. I was more than relieved. The story, and this photo, appeared in the December 2012 issue of Western Horseman.

 

Boots

120525 boots oneal 019Some images you treasure just because of the person you were privileged to photograph. The greatness of Boots O'Neal, to me, isn't just that he is still cowboying in his 80s. It's not just the incredible stories he tells from working on legendary Texas ranches such as the JA, Waggoner and Four Sixes. It's that he continues to pursue his passion, carries an upbeat attitude, conducts himself with humility, and shows respect for all people—even photographers who keep saying, "Just a few more shots."

 

Cloudy on a Sunny Day

A1C4087The weather was beautiful when I covered the Jordan Valley Rodeo in 2007. But before the performance started, the stock that were kept in a nearby pasture stirred up plenty of clouds as horseback staff members brought them into the rodeo arena. The event is held every May in Jordan Valley, Oregon.

 

Purple Dawn

151013 winters 41 0514Horseman and clinician Richard Winters rides one of his horses at daybreak in Reno, Nevada. I was visiting his training facility in October of 2015 to gather photos for his book, From Rider to Horseman. We shot for four days, photographing 38 chapters of sound horsemanship advice. This is one photo that was not scripted. It was simply nice to capture a candid, quiet moment between rider and horse.

Alpine Express

 080107 bigbend062The word alpine often conjures up the image of mountainous landscapes—usually the kind with snow, evergreen trees and ski slopes. Well, Alpine, Texas, certainly has its share of peaks and valleys, but they are a little more rugged in the high desert climate of the state's Big Bend country. It is also home to the legendary o6 Ranch, established by the Kokernot family during the 19th century. In 2008 I was assigned to photograph working cowboys on the ranch for a special tack and equipment article, which appeared in the May 2008 issue. We coordinated with Big Bend Saddlery and Chris Lacey of the o6, and we got help from real deal cowboys such as Larry Baldwin (left) and Mike Capron (right).

 

Deep into the 7 Up

150326 7up257Two years ago I rode on the 7 Up Ranch in Arizona, photographing the crew trailing cows and calves to headquarters. The three-day gather was handled by a three-man crew, including K.J. Kasun (left), Jamie Wood and Levi Lewis. They trailed about 400 cows on an uphill climb that rose more than 2,000 feet over the course of 25 miles.

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