West Texas is vast and empty. There are small towns scattered around, most of which have seen better days, and a few larger cities. But, for the most part, there’s a whole lot of nothing. It’s a rural life that’s lived here, and that is likely an understatement.
You might think that the opening paragraph was written with a negative tone, but I don’t mean it to be. I’m actually quite fascinated with the region, and I’d love to spend some significant time photographing it. Each little town offers something of photographic interest. There’s something that draws me in. There’s a story to tell.
My photography instructor in collage was June Van Cleef. Her most important work was capturing the life and times of rural west Texas. She spent years in the small dusty towns that seemed to be barely hanging on, camera in hand, capturing the people who called the place home. Perhaps it’s her perspective that I took away from those many months in her classroom.
I don’t have a real draw to west Texas other than I can clearly see the photographic potential. I have never made the time to act on that potential. Like most people, I just pass through on the way to somewhere else. That’s what highways are good for: taking you someplace else. Like all the times before, I came and went quickly, and saw the view from behind the car windshield. Someday, though, I will take my time and immerse myself in capturing this rural land. I hope to, anyway.