Texas Ranch before sunrise

Camera assist reveals more than the eye can see

A dim light on a distant pole reflects on the barn. After the long drive to this Texas ranch, I grabbed my camera, ready to capture the beginning of the workday. I love to get shots of everyone saddling horses before working and branding cattle, but on this early morning, the sun took its sweet time coming up. At dark-thirty, I could not see my hand in front of my face, much less anyone saddling a horse. Eager to get started anyway, I set up a tripod, pointed my camera toward a barn, and tried a 30-second exposure to see what would happen. I waited as the shutter opened, gathered all the light it could, then closed. Though my naked eyes could not see what lay beyond the darkness, my camera screen soon revealed a barn, horses, clouds, and stars.

The opportunity to photograph on ranches over the years has been a precious gift from the ranch’s owners and managers. I love being there as much as I love the ability to freeze these small moments in time and take them home with me. When I look at this photo, I remember the cold morning air and the excitement I felt as this scene appeared—on the back of my camera.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This