I support the Kansas Land Trust, A nonprofit organization that protects and preserves lands of ecological, agricultural, scenic, historic, and recreational significance in Kansas. I donate my images of their conservation easement properties for use in their newsletters, on their website (www.klt.org) and any other way they feel might help promote their mission. Over the past couple years, I have been privileged to meet a number of easement owners, all of whom feel they are actually caretakers of the land rather than "owners". All of these people have been most kind to me and have taken time to show me around the property they truly love and want to see preserved. I am indebted to them all.
The Flint Hills region is my favorite place to visit and to photograph. I've visited the Oregon Coast and the Rocky Mountains. I've seen fall color in the U. P. of Michigan, in Vermont, New Hampshire, Arkansas and the Adirondacks in New York state. I've seen spring in the Texas Hill Country and in Georgia. But for me, the Flint Hills of Kansas are where I want to be most. I feel at peace there.
Nature essayist John Burroughs said, "I go to nature to be healed and soothed, and to have my senses put in order." That's why I visit them more and more often as the years go by. Out there, I am home.
I'd never seen a ranch rodeo, so when friends invited me to come see their regional WRCA ranch rodeo in Council Grove, KS over the 4th of July weekend, I thought "why not?". I shot for a couple new friends I met at the rodeo, and others I took just because. I am already looking forward to going back again next year! One thing that really struck me watching the competition two nights is that there is no quit in any of these cowboys. The face shot of the cowboy with the tape on his nose & blood on his shirt was shot in the event following bronc busting. His horse had fallen on him and, I assume, broke his nose as well as causing assorted aches and pains. But the EMTs cleared him, and he participated in all the rest of the events seemly ignoring the pain he must have been in. Take a look at the image where the cowboy and his horse are both sideways & 3 feet off the ground. Would you believe the cowboy stayed in the saddle and rode the bronc to the time limit? He did!
I enjoy talking with owners of hot rods and examining their creations. Like snowflakes, there are no two alike. Each owner puts a piece of him or herself into their cars and trucks. Photographing hot rods is a diversion from my usual nature work. I find myself often times concentrating on an isolated aspect that catches my eye, like I do when I'm shooting intimate landscapes & capturing a small segment of a scene.
Rusty, paint-faded old carcasses are fun to photograph too. I sometimes like to "Ortonize" them to give the image a saturated, surrealistic effect.
The last couple days of February & and first couple days of March, I traveled the Flint Hills, primarily Chase Co., photographing. Snow had been forecast, but the forecast kept moving. So I'd gotten prepared, then left the day before it was actually supposed to snow. I did some scouting on a ranch new to me the 27th. The 28th, it snowed about 1.5", something less than I was expecting, but adequate for my purpose (Flint Hills landscapes primarily with some snow).
A few of the images, I've converted to Black & White. A handful of others have been digitally painted. I hope you enjoy.
Chase County is one of my favorite places, anywhere, to visit and photograph. The people are wonderful and the scenery outstanding! I've visited many spots several times each, and each time is different. The seemingly endless combinations of seasonal changes and weather conditions always make a visit worthwhile, sometimes even spectacular. Thanks to friends, and friends of friends, I am able to access prairie that few people, aside from the local cowboys, ever see. The gently rolling hills and the endless sky give me a sense of peace I don't feel in the city.
If you visit, drive the graveled county roads, but please be respectful of the land. Other than the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, it is all private land. However, from the roads you will witness vistas that seem to go on forever. You'll see herds of cattle, some of them longhorns. Perhaps you will happen across a herd of wild horses or two.
Photos were taken along the upper third or so of the Oregon coast from Arch Cape (2 miles south of Cannon Beach) up to Ft Stevens in late July. This was a family vacation, so I tried to take full advantage of the few photo ops I had. Hope you like a couple of them. :)
Some of the images are "straight", but others have had a "painterly" effect applied because I liked them better that way.
Browse All Photos slide show
© Bruce L. Hogle