There is something great about seeing one of your photographs from the past 'come to life'. Like seeing a Hollywood actor shopping in the grocery store ... I ran into "DODGE" (from my GO WEST series) last week. Aka : Clint Humble pickup man for the Powder River Rodeo / NFR Pickup Man / Badlands Circuit Pickup Man / Dodge National Finals Pickup Man & Omaha Finals Tour Pickup Man.
The photograph on top was from 2002 in Miles City Montana at the Bucking Horse Sale when I was still living in New York and still just a spectator. The photo below is at the Belle Fourche 4th of July Frontier Days Rodeo this year - after several years of ranching and cowboying and definitely seeing things from a different perspective now.
It felt funny to think of the time that had past and realized impossible to be that wide eyed photographer again - although I still love watching the bronc riders and pickup men at the rodeos and a have a great respect for their talents.
You know that song lyric 'just something about a pickup man' - what did I know, I always thought they were talking about the guys that picked up at the rodeos. It is pure grace and talent in action watching a pickup man run his horse calmly at top speed around the rodeo arena and pull a bronc rider of a bucking horse - rope broncs and pull the flank straps off. I love standing just inches away along the arena fence as they speed by in pursuit of a charging bronc.
There have also been a few good women picking up at rodeos in the past ... I hope to meet up with "DODGE" again soon and do an updated 'real' photograph with a new backdrop, my 4x5 camera and with a new perspective. ©JEAN LAUGHTON