Taking a look before I leave at the images from Wyoming, my last body of work. Looking for a series that presents a way of seeing. This is what I want to focus on and to discover more about when I return. There are many good ideas, I want to listen to the work, photograph with intention, answer the questions within it. Moving deeper searching for connections to other ideas-emotions.
I was honored to be awarded Photographer of the Year in two categories of the In the WPGA 4th annual Pollux Awards in London. In the People category, West of Eden took the prize and Suspended Women in Rehearsal -A piece by The Buglisi Dance Theatre won in the Performing Arts category.
Juried by Dilip Bhatia the contest received 2900 images submitted from 42 countries.
West Of Eden
Suspended Women in Rehearsal
Having a grand time
in snow up to my knees
shooting at the ranch in Wyoming
horses and cowboys flying through the landscape
Wearing 3 hats – 2 pairs of gloves and 2 pairs of socks
long underwear and ski pants
many layers of fleece
knee high Arctic muck out boots
my cameras wound around my neck
We start early in the morning
its cold and windy – dark and beautiful…
then the sun comes up and hits the painted mountain ridges
and the horses come flying through the snow drifts
and everything is glowing
and you don’t feel anything but joy !!
Ever since I was a little girl I have wondered about the life of the American Cowboy. I usually focus on vanishing rituals and lifestyles in Asia but once again I decided to look closer to home. I am going back to the Hideout Ranch in Wyoming ( my last visit was in the fall of 2010) and capture images of ranch life in wintertime. I can’t wait to see the horses thundering through snowy meadows, against pine-covered slopes and jagged mountains.
The spirit of the west still lives and my trip to Wyoming lived up to my lifelong dreams. How often does that happen…
The ranch was 300,00 acres and the landscape incredibly diverse. Some days we were shooting in a Painted Desert moonscape and others in high mountain passes filled with golden aspen trees. One of the moments I will always remember was moving 50 head of horses across Shell Creek from one pasture to another. The horses splashing through the water and the dust kicked up from the running horses and cattle combined with the shafts of sunlight were spectacular. We got to experience many facets of life on the ranch-from shoeing the horses to training sessions with young colts.
The wranglers all had different stories of how they came to be in Wyoming. One of the families running the ranch is originally from Belgium and having just been to Belgium this summer and seeing the city life there I was in awe of the courage it takes to make that kind of complete change in one’s life and lifestyle. The home they are building now had the most amazing view and a canyon in their front yard that was calling me to ride off into the sunset. I am sure everyone they know in Belgium is coming to visit and taking back the fabulous feeling of freedom that I took back to New York City with me.
Most of the wranglers had ridden and worked with animals all their lives. One woman came from Bolinas in Northern Ca. and was in college and planning to run a horseback camping travel company.The head wrangler was from Mexico and rode with amazing grace and power. It looked like the horse was an extension of his body. Another cowboy was from Idaho and had grown up on a dairy farm riding horses in his neighbors paddocks as a way to get to school. One from Texas was a former football player and the one of the women in the office had seen an advertisement for job in her home in Florida. One couple met in China doing mission work-she from New Zealand and he from Colorado-they met, then married and now live in Wyoming.
One of the best parts of the trip was meeting everyone and experiencing the rhythm of the life on a working ranch and watching the cooperation, camaraderie and teamwork necessary to run a ranch and the family feeling that develops.
I have traveled to many far off lands and will continue to do so but I have to say this was one of my favorite trips ever !
The mountains and the moon
Ramone at Tablerock
Luke the Duke
Sunset On the Ridge
Ever since I was a little girl I have wondered about the life of the American Cowboy. I have seen every movie and read many books about horses and the western lifestyle but had never experienced it. So I decided it was time to check it out. I always focus on vanishing rituals and lifestyles in my work throughout Asia so why not investigate closer to home. I traveled to the Hideout Ranch in Shell, Wyoming and spent some time making images there with the wonderful staff of wranglers and other photographers too – led by Darryl Guilin and Jeff Vanuga who were great to work with.
It was spectacular in every sense…The ranch magnificent-the landscape varied from rocky moonscapes to aspen groves beginning to turn into their golden fall colors. They practice natural horsemanship and all the training is focused on creating a team between the horse and rider. The cowboys and cowgirls all had unique stories of how they arrived in Wyoming. I will tell the stories in the next posts. The spirit of the west still lives!
Luke The Duke