Longhorn Saloon

The PlainSky, Nebraskans Show: The Complete Works No. 9

Cowboy Lunch: PlainSky Nebraskans No. 8

Cowboy Lunch: PlainSky Nebraskans No. 9

During the several years I’ve worked on the PlainSky project, I’ve fallen in love with quiet, unguarded moments that are still carefully lonely, as my friend Alessandro Ciapanna said about my work. And he’s right; I like those intimate moments where we as onlookers feel like we’ve found an interlude we weren’t supposed to see.

This shot, taken in January of 2012 in Harrison’s Longhorn Saloon, is one of those times. Weary, his shoulders slumped, a cowboy sits, the dim lights of the saloon and a Coke cooler filled with beer the only elements that brighten the room and betray the fatigue on his face.

PlainSky, Nebraskans: Young Cowboy, Harrison

Young Cowboy, Harrison

Young Cowboy, Harrison

This young man and I had a wonderful exchange of stories while I made images of him outside the Longhorn Saloon (a place with which I am very familiar). I was finding the shoot difficult, especially since he kept looking directly into the camera, destroying any chance of an unguarded moment captured, so I thanked him and said, “All done.”

I waited.

As he left the steps of the saloon, Dr. Pepper in hand, my composition came together, and I finally had my moment.