IL Cow Camp at Dawn


In 1979 I was commissioned by the Polaroid Corporation to shoot the very first new Polaroid XS70 film and told I could go anywhere I wanted to do the work. As I was hoping to gather my earlier work on cowboys and the West, I naturally decided to go West and I headed for northeast Nevada where I knew of a big ranch with some buckaroos I could photograph. Polaroid send me a bunch of their SX70 cameras and some of the regular film with which to practice because Dr. Land, who ran Polaroid, had not yet approved the new film for release. I also brought my 35mm cameras and settled in by the IL’s camp. I had a bedroll and could sleep in my van. It was fall and the weather was starting to get cool. Once cold weather set in it wouldn’t be possible to really test the Polaroid film. So, as I waited for the new film I worked with my Leicas.

This picture of the IL buckaroos around the campfire at dawn has the feeling of
what buckarooing was all about. There’s so much open space with a broad,
slowly lightening sky stretching out beyond the campfire. A solitary tent. Two
dogs huddle by the young men. One of the buckaroos is drinking coffee, another
is lacing up his boots. In some ways it’s like an image from a past era, maybe the time of Frederick Remington, or maybe that of my favorite western painter who
knew his subject so well, Charlie Russell. As things turned out I never got the
new Polaroid film before cold weather set in so I ended up going down to Oaxaca,
Mexico to do the Polaroid work but I had a lot of fine buckaroo images to go into
my book which became VANISHING BREED—Photographs of the Cowboy and
the West, with a forward by novelist Thomas McGuane. It went on to be awarded the Outstanding Western Art Book Award for 1983 from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center, the first time the award had been given to a photographer instead of a painter.

This flash sale print is a 6” x 9” image on a 9” x 11” paper. It is an archival ink jet print on archival watercolor paper. It is signed in graphite pencil on the front border. It is a perfect gift for a young aspiring photographer or for anyone who loves photography. At a price of only $100.00 it is a bargain not to pass up. All prints are shipped via USPS priority mail. Please be advised that all international custom fees apply and is the responsibility of the buyer to determine those charges. Prints may ship no later than two weeks from order date.

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