Visiting Ree Drummond’s Mercantile & Ranch in Pawhuska, OK

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Drummond Ranch – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

This last summer my wife and I had the opportunity to visit Ree Drummond’s mercantile store and ranch in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Ree Drummond, who is also known as The Pioneer Woman, is a famous television host, cook, author and blogger. She’s practically a household name! Her home, which just happens to be one of the largest ranches in America, is just outside of Pawhuska, which is where you’ll find her restaurant and store.

Pawhuska is a quintessential rural country town in northern Oklahoma. It once boomed, but an oil bust, the Great Depression and Dust Bowl left lasting scars on this small town. Less than 5,000 people call Pawhuska home, but it does have one famous resident that has breathed new life into the area, and it has become a mecca of sorts, a tourist destination for fans of The Pioneer Woman. People travel from all over the county, even the world, to visit The Mercantile.

You might be wondering right now what any of this has to do with photography, as Fuji X Weekly is a photography blog, other than I captured some photographs of this place while visiting. Well, a lesser known fact about Ree Drummond is that she’s a pretty good photographer. She’s captured some amazing photographs of Oklahoma ranch life. In fact, her store and ranch are decorated with her pictures. You’ll find some of her photographs in her different books. I know that she’ll never read this article, but if by chance she ever does, I would strongly urge her to publish a photoessay book showing life on her ranch, which might include 40-50 of her best black-and-white photographs. The art world has yet to recognize Ree’s pictures, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t a talented artist or that she shouldn’t share her pictures with the world. I do believe someday her prints will find their way into an exhibition somewhere, and she’ll receive recognition for what she’s done with a camera.

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The Merc – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

We visited The Mercantile, which is an old brick building in downtown Pawhuska, in the afternoon, browsing the store that’s packed with unique items. Some of these things feature Ree’s designs, while other things fit her style but aren’t designed by her. It’s a fun store to walk through, and my wife found many things that she wanted to purchase. After that we went upstairs to the coffee shop, which includes a great space for sipping hot drinks and eating tasty pastries and just relaxing. The Mercantile was busy, but it didn’t feel overcrowded, and we took our time soaking up the experience.

The Drummond family opens up The Lodge for tours from time-to-time, and it just so happens that it was open for tours while we were there. The Lodge is located on their ranch several miles outside of town and down some dirt roads. This is where the cooking show is filmed, and it serves as a guesthouse for visitors. It’s a beautifully restored and decorated ranch house. Visiting it was an intimate experience, as it felt like stepping into their home, even though this isn’t their main house. My wife pretended to host the show, and we got a good laugh out of that. We were able to pet a few of their dogs, which are seen in the show and books and were just hanging around the building. We even saw some of their horses, and my 10-year-old daughter, who loves horses, got to pat one on the nose. It was a good time and well worth the dusty drive to get there and back.

That night we returned to The Mercantile for dinner in the restaurant. The food was every bit as delicious as we imagined and then some! The atmosphere was just as enjoyable as the food. It was one of the best meals we had on our road trip. Ree’s restaurant really was ridiculously good!

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Kitchen Window – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

We spent the night in Pawhuska. We awoke the next morning to rain, but that didn’t stop us from returning to The Mercantile in the morning for breakfast. As delicious as dinner was the night before, breakfast was even better! I can understand why Ree is a popular television cook, as her recipes are incredibly tasty.

Before coming to Pawhuska we had read on the internet that The Mercantile and restaurant can be extremely crowded with long lines, and that sometimes you have to wait for hours. We didn’t experience any of that, but as we were leaving town we did notice that the line for the restaurant was becoming quite long. I would suspect on weekends or busy travel days, during peak hours, that it can get extraordinarily crowded. My recommendation would be to come during the middle of the week and be there either early near when they first open or late just a little while before closing and you’ll miss the gobs of people.

The Pioneer Woman experience was a highlight of our summer vacation. It felt like we were invited guests and not strangers. We ate delicious food. We toured their guesthouse. We purchased some merchandise. We didn’t want to leave, but it was time to go. We took with us some good memories. Oh, and I captured the photographs you see here.

Color:

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Pioneer Woman Table – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Singing Cowboys – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Headless Three – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Chair Shadow – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Backwards Gear – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Window Seat – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Blackberry Lemonade – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Berry Creme Brulee – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Devil’s Food – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Drummond Ranch Horse – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Mercantile Treats – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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The Lodge Porch – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Kitchen Flowers – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Chairs By The Window – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Ranch View – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Cowboy Boots – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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The Lodge Kitchen – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Dog & Cow – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Drummond Ranch Vista – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Foal Shy – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Country Horses – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

B&W:

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Mercantile – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F

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Cafe Flowers – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F

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Wet Tables – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F

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Bakery – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Light Fixture – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F

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The Pioneer Woman Store Corner – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Pat – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Cup of Joe – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F

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Rural Cows – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Two Horses In The Grass – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Horse Gate – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Horse & Hand – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Drummond Ranch Overlook – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Drummond Ranch View – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Walter – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2

Photoessay: Along The Highway, Part 7: Wyoming

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Highway Colonel – Rock Springs, WY – Fujifilm X100F – I-80

Colorado  New Mexico  West Texas  East Texas  Oklahoma (Color)  Oklahoma (B&W)

The final leg of our journey, which also marks the end of this series, took us through the lonely state of Wyoming. Towns are few and far between. It’s a very rural place. Antelope outnumber the people. The main purpose of the small communities situated along Interstate 80 seems to be serving highway travelers.

Wyoming is beautiful, especially the northwest corner. We didn’t travel to the northwest corner, but even the empty southern side of the state has some sites worth seeing. There are mountain passes and grasslands and rivers. Spotted here and there are patches of unique natural artistry. We passed through much of it without stopping.

Because the journey itself can be more important than where the road leads, the destination isn’t as critical as the decision to go. On this road trip I saw and experienced many great places, met some wonderful people, and, of course, captured many memorable photographs. I hope to do this again real soon.

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Small Pet Area – Fort Bridger, WY – Fujifilm X100F – I-80

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Lowering Sun On A Travel Day – Fort Bridger, WY – Fujifilm X100F – I-80

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A Trucker’s Life Is Lonely – Fort Bridger, WY – Fujifilm X100F – I-80

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Text Await – Fort Bridger, WY – Fujifilm X100F – I-80

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Waving Above The Structure – Fort Bridger, WY – Fujifilm X100F – I-80

Taos Pueblo, New Mexico – Part 2: Monochrome

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Storm Over Pueblo – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

Part 1 – Color

One thing I found particularly fascinating about the Taos Pueblo is that this historic site is still inhabited. This is a real home to many people. The doors and windows belong to someone. Inside there are living spaces, bedrooms and kitchens. Surrounding the two large pueblos are even more houses. There’s a church. This is a community.

Visiting Taos is like being invited into a stranger’s home. You have the opportunity to see a more intimate side of things, and perhaps come away with a different perspective. What I found in Taos was not what I had pictured in my mind prior to visiting, but something much more interesting. There’s a certain profoundness to this place that’s difficult to put into words.

I appreciate those in Taos for allowing me in, answering my questions and showing hospitality and kindness. Unfortunately, my stay was much too short. I had only a couple of hours to spend at the pueblo, and then it was time to continue down the highway to Santa Fe. I truly hope that the opportunity to return comes sooner than later.

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Taos Tourist – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F

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Jacob’s Ladder – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Dream Ladder – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F

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Tree & Shed – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Bells & Crosses – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Pueblo Sky – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F

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Taos & Sky – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Second Floor Pueblo – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Pueblo Roof – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Boxy – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Taos Pueblo Apartments – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Storm Approaching Taos – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F

Taos Pueblo, New Mexico – Part 1: Color

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San Geronimo Cross – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

Ansel Adams’ very first book, Taos Pueblo, was published in 1930. It featured photographs that Adams had captured in the spring of 1929 at Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. He would return to Taos several times on his journeys across the American west. It was while flipping through one of Adams’ books that I first learned of Taos, and for the next twenty years I would dream of one day experiencing the place firsthand.

The Taos Pueblo is the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America, dating back to about 1000 AD. There are actually two pueblos, the north house and south house, that look much the same and are of similar age. It’s amazing how little has changed over the centuries, and it is said that the pueblo appears similar to visitors today as it did to Spanish explorers in 1540.

People still inhabit the Taos Pueblo. It’s like a giant apartment complex. Many of the lower-level units are used as restaurants and shops. You can buy handmade art and trinkets. It’s a neat experience. It does cost money to visit ($16 per person), but I didn’t mind as I’m sure it helps those who live there. Sadly, it appears as though poverty is a common issue at the pueblo.

My family and I only got to spend a couple of hours at the Taos Pueblo. We were just passing through on our way to Santa Fe. It would have been great to spend more time capturing this historic site. There are so many photographic opportunities! Interestingly, and perhaps unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), photographs are for personal use only, and one must obtain prior approval and pay a fee for commercial photography. If I wanted to sell a picture that I captured at the pueblo, well, I can’t, unless I jumped through the appropriate hoops ahead of time. This is something to consider if you are planning a visit, and if I were to spend more time than just a couple of hours at the site I definitely would have done this just in case I captured something special.

I used a Fujifilm X-Pro2 with a Fujinon 60mm lens attached to capture these images. They are all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs using my Kodachrome II film simulation recipe. I hope you enjoy viewing them!

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San Geronimo de Taos – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Taos Cowboy – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Pueblo Door – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Red Door – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Flower Pot – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Pueblo Peak – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Pueblo – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Pueblo de Taos – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

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Fallen Fence – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm

Part 2 – Monochrome

Photoessay: Along The Highway, Part 6 – Oklahoma in Monochrome

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Stu – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

Colorado  New Mexico  West Texas  East Texas  Oklahoma (Color)  Wyoming

Pawhuska is a rural town in northeastern Oklahoma that once boomed. The 1920’s were especially roaring, but the 1930’s included an oil bust, the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, scars of which are clearly evident to this day. The Boy Scouts of America began in Pawhuska over 100 years ago. The town is also home to Drummond Ranch, which is one of the largest ranches in the country. Ree Drummond has a popular television cooking show and has authored a number of books. She also has a store and restaurant in town, and that’s why my wife and I were there.

The town is quite small, but photographic opportunities were numerous. In fact, I made more exposures in Pawhuska than any other place we visited on our road trip. There’s a lot of history, character and hospitality packed into the little town in the middle of nowhere. Pawhuska proved to be a great experience! I felt as though I left many potential pictures unphotographed, so perhaps another visit will be in store in the future.

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Double Flag – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Kitchen Window – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Bakery – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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County Courthouse – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Broken Glass Through The Glass – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Industrial Brick – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Industrial Design – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Star – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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The Other Mother – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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The Merc – Pawhuska, OK – X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Mercantile – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 60

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Cafe Flowers – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 60

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Wet Tables – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 60

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Unlikely – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Pawhuska Rain – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 60

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Osage County – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F – OK HWY 99

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Thunder Sky – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X100F – OK HWY 99

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Rural Cows – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Horse Gate – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Two Horses In The Grass – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Rural Mail – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

Photoessay: Along The Highway, Part 5 – Oklahoma in Color

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Small Green Hill – McAlester, OK – Fuji X-Pro2 & 60mm – Indian Nation TPKE / US HWY 69

Colorado  New Mexico  West Texas  East Texas  Oklahoma In B&W  Wyoming

When we were planning our summer road trip, the one state that I was least interested in was Oklahoma. I’d been to Oklahoma a couple times, and nothing I saw was particularly memorable. But I had never traveled through the eastern part of the state, which is where my family and I drove through, and I was quite impressed with what I saw. Oklahoma blew my expectations out of the water!

I captured a whole lot of photographs while there, mostly in and around the town of Pawhuska. We stayed the night there, so the images were taken over a span of two days. I used my Fujifilm X-Pro2 for the color pictures, utilizing my Kodachrome II film simulation recipe. If Pawhuska sound familiar to you, it’s because Ree Drummond (“The Pioneer Woman”) lives there. She has a gift store and restaurant in the town. The best food we ate on the entire trip was in Pawhuska, hands down!

We drove down many miles of rural highways in Oklahoma, and saw some surprisingly beautiful scenery along the way. We passed through several quaint towns and experienced firsthand some great hospitality. I hope to one day return, but I’m grateful for the time I spent there, even if it was short.

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Foal Shy – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Drummond Ranch – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Open Window Reflection – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Buckin’ Flamingo – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Locked Door – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Oklahoma Flag – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Brick – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Window Grill – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Pawhuska Reflection – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Contemplation – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Paint Ladder – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Backwards Gear – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Window Seat – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 60

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Rural Sunset – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – OK HWY 99

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Sunset Through The Branches – Pawhuska, OK – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm – OK HWY 99

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado – Part 2: Color

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Sangre de Cristo & Sand Dunes – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

Part 1 – Monochrome

The Great Sand Dunes National Park lends itself well to black-and-white photography because of the highlight-and-shadow play that is so prevalent, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good place for color pictures. While I definitely came away with more monochrome images, a couple of my favorite pictures are in color. I imagine that autumn would be especially nice for color photography at this location, and perhaps late-spring or early summer when there is an abundance of fresh green. Late summer features a lot of brown, tan, and yellow, which can still be alright.

All of the photographs in this article are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs captured using my Fujifilm X-Pro2 with a Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 Macro lens attached to the front. I used my Kodachrome II film simulation recipe for most of them. Enjoy!

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Sand Beneath The Peak – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Adversity Alone – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Long Walk Back – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Sand In My Boot – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Approaching The Dunes – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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From Dust To Dust – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Sandal – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Torrid Terrain – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado – Part 1: Monochrome

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Great Sand Dunes Sign – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

In July my family and I visited the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve near Alamosa, Colorado. This national park features the tallest sand dunes in North America. The towering Sangre de Cristo Mountains loom in the background. It’s an impressive and unusual landscape!

During wetter months the Medano Creek flows beneath the sand dunes, and in order to get to the dunes one must get their feet wet. We were there during a dry month and there was no water in the wide creek bed. Unsurprisingly, a visit to the sand dunes requires a significant amount of walking on sand, which means that it takes more effort and more time to get from one point to another. It’s no walk in the park, and it’s best to come prepared with plenty of water and ready for the hike.

While we were there, once on the dunes, the wind was blustery and it kicked up the sand quite fiercely. It pelted our legs and would occasionally blow in our faces and get into our eyes. It was more of an issue for the kids since they’re shorter. It was not a fun experience, so we did not stay on the dunes for very long.

The place offers amazing photographic opportunities. If you like working with shadows and highlights and abstract shapes, this is the place for you! The Great Sand Dunes National Park is one of those special landscapes where it’s difficult to come away with bad pictures. I had with me a Fujifilm X-Pro2 with a Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 Macro lens attached to the front. The X-Pro2 is weather sealed, but the lens is not. Thankfully I did not get dust on the sensor. I would strongly recommend not changing lenses while at the dunes, as you’re just asking for trouble by doing so.

We were only at the sand dunes for a couple of hours. It would have been great if we could have stayed longer. I think that a sunrise hike to the top would have been epic, but time just didn’t allow for it. Even so, we were glad for the opportunity that we did have. I’m happy with the photographs and memories that I came away with.

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Great Sand Dunes – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Mountains & Sand Across The Valley – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Mountain of Sand – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Stroller Alone – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Sand & Sangre de Cristo – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Running In The Sand – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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It’s A Long Ways To The Top – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Mountain, Sand & Sky – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Sand & Sierra Sky – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Improbability – Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO

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Sand Walkers – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Passerby – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Silver Sand – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

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Sandal In The Sand – Great Sand Dunes NP, CO

Part 2 – Color

Photoessay: Along The Highway, Part 4 – East Texas

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Grain Hoppers – Westlake, TX – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 377

Colorado  New Mexico  West Texas  Oklahoma (Color)  Oklahoma (B&W)  Wyoming

Visiting east Texas was in a way a homecoming for me–well, sort of, anyway. I lived in the Dallas area for a few years as a teenager. I lived in Houston for one year awhile back, as well. I have family on the right side of the state, and I’ve journeyed to see them many times over the years. It’s in east Texas that I first learned to be a photographer. I’m familiar with the region, to say the least.

This trip was about spending time with family. It was about being with people that I don’t see often enough. Photography was secondary, although I did find plenty of time for capturing images. By a large margin I spent more time in east Texas than anywhere else on this road trip, yet this part of the series seems short on pictures.

The highways that I traversed in east Texas were often wide and new. They connected cities and large towns. Sure, there were plenty of rural segments, but I saw a lot of suburban landscapes. There’s a lot more sprawl than I remember, and it served as a reminder that it had been too long since I last visited the place, and I need to return more frequently.

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Storm Shelter – McKinney, TX – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 380

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Two Towers – Dallas, TX – Fujifilm X100F – TX HWY 366

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Walk This Way – Princeton, TX – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 380

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A Little Birdie Told Me About The Brew – Westlake, TX – Fuji X-Pro2 & 60mm – US HWY 377

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Trash Pallet – McKinney, TX – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 380

Photoessay: Along The Highway, Part 3 – West Texas

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Cadillac Spray Cans – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm – I-70 / Route 66

Colorado  New Mexico  East Texas  Oklahoma In Color  Oklahoma in B&W  Wyoming

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.

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Cans & Cars – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm – I-70 / Route 66

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Ex Lover – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X100F – I-70 / Route 66

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Def Bus – Amarillo, TX – Fujifilm X100F – I-70 / Route 66

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No Truck Parking – Childress, TX – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 287

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Steel Snowman – Childress, TX – Fuji X100F – US HWY 287

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Potted Flag – Bowie, TX – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 287

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Rural Ranch – Bowie, TX – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 287

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Truck Stop – Bowie, TX – Fujifilm X100F – US HWY 287