I once heard National Geographic photographer Sam Abell say, during a presentation, that many people thought the way he created his stunning photographs was by booking a very comfortable hotel room, having a nice breakfast, and simply looking out the window one day to capture the photo. The audience laughed. I laughed. “Couldn’t ever happen that way,” I said to myself.
Then, in Chadron on March 21, it did.
Walking out of my hotel room at 12:30 p.m., I saw this cowboy and his daughter eating lunch in the courtyard, so very displaced from the stereotypical environment we expect to find such people. The arches, the sea of stucco, cement and sterility all struck me as a classic statement of “modern Nebraska history,” as a very good friend of mine called it. This scene was then complimented by the ready-made frame of the window, and my photo was prepared for me.
Right out my door after I had a nice lunch.