Photographing the American West…

Photographing the American West...

Photograph © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Photographing the vast expanses on the American West over the past decade has taught me many things…one of those lessons is to never pass up an opportunity.

I pulled off the road last week just outside of the Jicarilla Indian Reservation to make this image as a spring storm was blowing out across the valley floor. I am pleased with the images I made, and thankful that I made the decision to turn around. On any other day I might have just kept driving…

The western landscape is vast, many miles of blacktop stretch out between each assignment, I am often covering those miles with purpose, bound for a location. But on this day the agenda was wide open, my wife Rachel was with me and together we set out to explore our route south into New Mexico, the scenic route!

Roads trips. Too often I look out across the horizon and see something in a certain light, people working, storms approaching and say to myself I must return to this…soon. Unfortunately as with all photography, those moments are fleeting, and more importantly the West is so vast that returning is often unlikely.

Take the shot, make the time pull down that dirt road, don’t regret the moment!

Finally I will also add that even though some things seem timeless, I have come back to find an entire barn gone, old trucks moved after decades, and animal no longer out to pasture, never to return. Nothing is forever, even in the American West.

Storms roll in, seasons change, as do the cultures of the landscape before us…Carpe Diem!

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