May 4, 2013

Cover and Story : South Dakota Magazine

"Wanna See My Picture on the Cover of South Dakota Magazine" Thanks to the Katie Hunhoff at South Dakota Magazine for putting my photograph on the cover of the May / June issue.
Also, be sure to turn to page 24 to see my photograph of a True Original Cowboy, Baxter Badure, and a short story on how to dress like a cowboy. Of course no one has as much style and individuality as Baxter Badure, who draws from his collection of personally made and historical gear for his daily cowboying. The chaps on the cover were vintage Powder River chaps he rebuilt and added hundreds if not thousands of 'spots' and the woolies inside were made by him as well as many other pairs, many many saddles, headstalls, saddle bags etc ... a true artist. And yes, he outbid me for those gorgeous vintage beaded gloves.  I sure landed in a good area to learn to cowboy amongst the crew south of Belvidere - with cowboys like Lyle O'Bryan and Baxter Badure who carry on tradition and heritage.

When I first started working here I was such a novice and sort of unsure of my path. Then as I was riding one day I looked across the pasture and saw old time cowboy Lyle O'Bryan riding, silhouetted against big puffy clouds, and another time Baxter Badure came riding over the hill in full on cowboy gear and flowing coat and gloves, six shooter etc and I thought ok ... I am really inspired and will have people to photograph constantly ... making it feel even more as if I had gone back in time and was endlessly riding on a movie set from the past. Hard to explain - just meant to be I guess.

Lyle O'Bryan Riding Stringy Under the Great Plains Sky

Thanks to Lyle and Baxter for being so generous and letting me snap away whenever I want. You will go down in pictorial cowboy history while inspiring kids of the future to look back and say, 'hey I want to be a cowboy' - when the look at your photographs and they will be looking at photographs of the real deal.

Lyle O'Bryan on Cody on his Quarter Circle XL Ranch

The story inside South Dakota Magazine is short and sweet but all the aspects of cowboy dress and gear have history behind them and come from an origin of functionality and practical purpose. It is great to work and ride with cowboys who carry on the past and bring it forward into present day everyday work and dress. There is a reason for a stacked heel on a cowboy boot - to keep your foot from going through the stirrup and being drug by your horse etc ... A wide brimmed hat keeps the rain and sun off ... chaps protect etc ... here is a link to one of my all time favorite photographers, the great Erwin E. Smith and a teaching guide that has a lot of information on cowboy gear and history and of course the most spectacular online collection of Erwin E. Smith photographs  - thanks to the Amon Carter Museum.

A friend in my past gave me Erwin Smith's photography book along with Evelyn Cameron's book. At the time I was traveling out West working on my GO WEST series and had not moved yet. I didn't quite see how it would all come together and in some ways become my life. Those two books have been major influences on my life and have been bedside in my bunkhouse since I started working on the ranch. Funny how people pass through your life and present things along the way.

"Kitty" and me in my old Quarter Circle XL "bunkhouse"

Photographs of modern south of Belvidere cowboying that look like old time cowboying.

Baxter Badure at the Pines Corral : from the series MY RANCHING LIFE

Long live the True American Working Cowboys and the history they represent. I feel lucky to get to work alongside a few of them for a bit.