Edward Steichen

PlainSky, Nebraskans: In His Father’s Arms, Mansfield Ranch

In His Father’s Arms, Mansfield Ranch

This young man and his friends have been the subjects of many, many a photograph for me; one of my goals is to continually document these cowboys as they grow into men, with families and children of their own. Yes, the people of western Nebraska are very, very important to me, and although they don’t realize it, they also are very photogenic.

On a dreary and cold May morning, more than three hours into a long day of brandings, I caught the young man in his father’s arms as another calf met its time at the hands of the hands. The photograph shows a son and father connected, a fleeting moment where everyone can see the love shared between the two, a love made stronger by a ranching life on the Great Plains.

It is a photograph of a muse. If one is looking for one of many reasons I can never, will never bear that the PlainSky, Nebraskans project stop, this is it. It is a project of family, evoking a piece of Edward Steichen’s The Family of Man: The Family of the Plains.