Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Documenting The Lives Of Colorado Mountain Ranchers

Photographer Michael Crouser spent 10 years taking pictures of northwestern Colorado mountain ranchers and the work they do. The photos, and some of their stories, have just been published in “Mountain Ranch,” and some of them are also on exhibit in New York City. Crouser (@MichaelCrouser) joins Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd to talk about the book.On Crouser’s photography appearing quintessentially western “It absolutely does, but it’s also very much Colorado in that it’s in the mountains, and it was pointed out to me early on that that’s a different kind of ranching, and that’s, in the end, why I called the book Mountain Ranch, because I wanted to show that kind of place and that kind of ranching, and also display some of the landscape that makes it so.”
On the people he photographed “Well the people are of that place in every way. A lot of the older people that I interviewed and photographed were actually born on the same piece of land, or next door to where they’re living now and to where they worked their whole lives, and then retired. They’re wonderful people, everybody that I came in contact with was kind to me and friendly and willing, even if they were somewhat shy, they were willing and interested in having me there to look at and document their way of life.”On the timelessness of his photographs “It’s not really an attempt to make old-looking photographs as much as it is to take photographs that don’t really reference popular culture, if you can see the difference I’m trying to make there. I really don’t include any evidence of popular culture — no tennis shoes or sunglasses or baseball hats or cars or architecture or typography. It’s all just the traditional elements of traditional lives, and I really feel like, you know, one picture can contain that, but if you have a whole series like that, by the end of it you feel as though you’ve had a certain type of experience, I believe.”...more

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