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100 Years 100 Ranchers Project

So there I was, just minding my own business, heading toward security in the Phoenix airport, when I spotted the Phoenix Airport Museum Gallery.


Turns out to be a really cool place.

 Not sure how well the picture on the right will work out - if you click it will go to a larger version.

This was the current exhibit - "100 Years 100 Ranchers" Photographs by Scott Baxter.  (See my link at the bottom of the page as well).

In honor of the 100th anniversary of Arizona's statehood, the photographer Scott Baxter travelled around the state taking pictures of ranchers whose families have been ranching in Arizona for 100 years or more.

He used a large-format camera, and shot on black-and-white film.  I commend him for both.  I use my newfangled digital camera, but I cut my photography teeth (such as they are) on a Canon A-1.  Nothing, and I repeat, nothing tops film.  You can manipulate digital to your heart's content, and it sure is nice to be able to shoot 9000 frames of a subject if you want, but film is so much better looking.  No comparison.

Anyways, back to the exhibit.  It's wonderful.  The photos make you think it's 1900 again, even though most of them were shot in the last couple of years.  I'm showing a few of the ones that caught my eye.

Most all of the shots are of ranchers themselves.

Here are 4 that were good.

There were probably 30 or so photos in the exhibit.  The gallery is small but very nice.  Too bad thousands of people walk by it each day and few stop in.

I was alone in the gallery for most of my 15-minute visit.  Only one other person came in - as I was leaving.

Everybody's in a hurry.

Here's a rancher about to saddle his horse.  Great shot.

Not being used to taking pictures of pictures, I foolishly didn't make any notes.  But on this shot - one of my two favorites - I was able to capture the description:

"Ashley Riggs, 2011
Crossed J Ranch
Cochise County, base of the Chiricahua Mountains, southeast of Wilcox.  AZ ranching family since 1879."

Most people think that ranches are long gone, but they are still active.  Crossed J Ranch - how great is that?  And see what Ashley is doing?

Another brilliant photo.

"Jimmy Baird in the west pasture 2010
Love Lake Ranch
Navajo County, Walnut Springs, west of Shumway.  AZ ranching family since 1902."

Here's more about the 100 Years 100 Ranchers project, including many more great photographs.

And more about the airport's art collection.


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