At 10,000 Feet
Growing up in a ranching family and having a father that worked as a horse wrangler for much of his early life, it seems natural that I would be drawn to creating imagery of western ranching culture. While I did not follow the ranching way of life, I have always felt a strong connection to it and especially to the wonderful energy, beauty, strength, and free spirit of horses. My mother, Kye, who raised her adored Arabian horses for many years also showed me how deep the human – equus bond could be. Text continued below:
Click on any photo below to view a larger image.
I have chosen to photograph horses and ranch life of the Colorado high country as this setting provides a beautiful backdrop of mountains, rolling parkland, winter snow and starkness, summer storm clouds, and weathered ranch structures. While bathed and pampered thoroughbred horses are truly beautiful animals, I am more attracted to the varied and unique visual character of these ranch animals and to their social behavior and relationships with one another, as a herd, and with me. My goal is to capture their individual character in portrait form that includes the context in which they live. As the animals on the ranches where I photograph are only in contact with me on an infrequent basis, I spend two or three days with them for eight to twelve hours a day in order to have them become comfortable with my presence and allow myself time to follow their movements as a herd across the mountain landscape.
I have a great respect for the ranching way of life and particularly for those that live and work in the extremes of the high country environment. The ranchers and animals alike are an incredibly resilient bunch. Note: I sought out and received permission from ranchers before entering the rangeland with the horses.