“Old Prairie Church” Wins Contest Award


I’m really jazzed!   My image of “The Old Prairie Church” has been awarded First Place winner in the annual Cowboys & Indians Magazine’s® photography contest for the Landscape category.  Pardon me for puffing up a little, OK?

The Old Prairie Church

The image that won the Landscape category is “The Old Prairie Church”.  The location is the historic Eaves Ranch just south of Santa Fe, New Mexico.  This working ranch has a section that was used for the filming of a number of movies and TV westerns, going back as far as “The Cheyenne Social Club.”

I was with a group from Moose Peterson’s Digital Landscape Workshop Series (check out Moose’s website at http://www.moosepeterson.com ), and we had combed the old movie set for “western” shots for our portfolios.  The afternoon had been filled with cowboys, horses and even the old jail.

It was late in the afternoon on a day that had threatened with rain (snow back in Santa Fe) and some wind.  Then, just before the sun dropped below the  Sangre de Cristo mountains, a break in the clouds gave way to a brilliant, low-angle lighting of the old church, back-dropped by spectacular clouds and ensuing sunset.  And for a brief few moments, the image before me spoke volumes about the lonely prairie, the single church that kept faith, and how beautiful the simplicities of older days are, even for those who might not be from the West.

Moose, thanks for the great opportunity to stand there and to grab what is already one of my favorite shots.

Cowboys, Indians, Award, Prairie, ChurchIf you’re not familiar with Cowboys & Indians Magazine, it is the premier magazine of the West, highlighting western and ranch life and the people and places that make up that special part the American West.  It typically features one cover personality that is prominent in western film, literature or history along with other articles and stories for those who have an appreciation of western lore, wildlife, scenery, architecture, music and even poetry.


But once each year, the focus is on some of the most interesting and high-quality photography of the West that can be found anywhere in one place.

I know,  I know, it sounds like I’m just spouting off about a publication that chose to give me a little recognition.

But honestly, I’ve submitted images for this contest for several years, and although having had others selected for inclusion in the annual contest edition, have never been a winner.  But every single time, I’ve looked at all the entries, and especially the winners, and have realized how really good these photographers really are.  Some are professional, some are amateur, and some are amazing budding young artists that still can’t drive.  But when you look at the quality of this collection of work, and if you have any love for the American West and an appreciation for really good photography, this March issue is one to check out, either online or at the magazine section (Borders, Barnes & Noble, Amazon til mid-February).

Cowboys & Indians Magazine

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