cowboy boot

Boot No. 9

Boot No. 9

Boot No. 9

We take the everyday elements in life in a daze, most often lost in our own thoughts, wandering through the world oblivious to the poetry around us. I encourage my students to pay closer attention to their surroundings, to put aside their digital lives and thought-to-be-hectic schedules for a few moments a few times each day, to sit and compose with the ordinary.

I tried to do just that with my boot series, and this is the ninth among those images.

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Boot No. 8

Boot No. 8

Boot No. 8

I’ve enjoyed working on my “Boots” series for some time, and here is a treatise on the formalist nature of the American cowboy boot.

Boot No. 6

Boot No. 6

Boot No. 6

About a week ago, another member on JPG Magazine commented on my “Dunes, Alamosa County” image: “Brett Weston?” Needless to say, I was honored to have someone make the connection (although I am smart enough to know I’m not even close to that unbelievable talent–just look at his work in the Brett Weston Archive), and it got me thinking about how to use density in different ways to add mystery. This shot of a pair of Tony Lama boots is one of those new explorations.

Boot No. 1

Boot No. 1

Boot No. 1

I’ll return to Cathy Hervert. There are two more images from the shoot to publish, but since variety is the spice of life (sorry for the cliche), I wanted to send this out first. I’ve long been fascinated with the textures of leather and the textures of lives, and decided on using well-traveled boots to interweave the two ideas.

Tough Hands No. 2

Tough Hands No. 2

Tough Hands No. 2

“That looks like an advertising image,” said Liz, my friend and fellow professional photographer.

“Maybe,” I answered, “but there’s a difference between an advertising image and this one.”

“Oh? What’s that,” Liz asked.

“Look at the boot,” I returned. “No advertising image could capture a boot that had been so ‘prettied up’ by ranch life. This is a document, not propaganda.”

Liz and I have shot together for countless hours, brandings upon brandings, landscapes beyond count, ghost towns unnamed. She sat and pondered for a moment, then spoke.

“Mmm-hmm. You’re right. That boot couldn’t be anything but real.”