My first trip to southwestern Colorado in the spring of 1994 is what initially inspired me to take up photography. The crisp clean mountain air and the bluest of skies I'd ever seen. Remnants of winter snow clinging to the red cliff walls and the aspens were just beginning to sprout their bright green foliage. I'd never set eyes on anything more beautiful! Before I knew it, I had fallen in love with the southwest and since moving to Colorado in 2005, photography has become my passion. Changing light, weather and seasons are just another excuse for me to head out with my camera and find some new way to capture the beauty of this place where I live. How could one help but not be swept away by the breathtaking beauty of the San Juan’s?
Opportunities to photograph present themselves in so many ways here. Roads built by the early settlers of this country have given access to four-wheel drive excursions which will lead you up into the sunlit mountains through remnants of historic mining towns, past mountainsides populated with alpine wildflowers in quantities beyond belief, mountain pools of turquoise blue and endless hiking trails.
I have always been in love with horses and the American West having grown up on western film, so just as thrilling to me has been my good fortune to photograph some of our local ranch life. My favorite photo shoots are being out on the ranches, absorbing every detail of work during branding season. The dust, the smoke, the smell of leather and the scent of sweat on the horses. The comradery and laughter between the cowboys, cows calling to their calves. I find myself leaning in to take the tight shots that convey the details in the chaps and spurs, their creases and textures, well-worn leather or a weathered face. With tight shots, the viewer’s eye is drawn to the details that typically go unnoticed, be it rust, textures, etc. I get great satisfaction from what I capture in this manner. Achieving what I saw in the printed image is greatly rewarding to me. When I am behind the lens, nothing else seems to exist except what I am looking at through the lens and thankfully, I’ve been saved a couple of times by a cowboys’ shout when a protective cow has sized me up when I’ve been too close to her calf.
One of the best things about putting this collection of photographs together was going through and rediscovering images that I had forgotten. And isn’t that what taking photographs is all about? Recording life events, scenic places and treasured moments.
SWC - The Book