I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I went on long service leave. I thought about it yesterday as I walked from the train station to my office building. How quickly I’ve settled back into reality and my boring life! I remember how euphoric I felt with 7 glorious months of freedom ahead of me. It all went much too quickly.
A highlight of my travels was the wild horses, cowboys and western photography workshop in Wyoming. I was the only workshop participant who had travelled from another country; my fellow photographers were a friendly bunch who came from different states of America: Oregon, Washington state, New Mexico, Texas and California. Part of the tour was spent in the historic town of Cody, with dawn and dusk trips to the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Range so we could photograph wild mustangs. The other part was spent at K Bar Z, a ranch in the high country with real cowboys (and a couple of cowgirls) who were great sports and just so incredibly photogenic as they rode, roped and did their thing. We started each day with an early breakfast so we could capture the cowboys in action before the morning light turned harsh; we’d take a break in the middle of the day for lunch and a rest, then regroup to capture more images in the late afternoon/early evening before it got too dark for photography.
Dishes served at meals included: roast beef with beautifully soft homemade bread rolls; pumpkin pie; tamales and enchiladas with avocado sauce; quesadillas with pepper jack cheese or cheddar and green chili; roast beef sandwiches served with gravy, French-dipped-style; bread and butter pudding; chocolate chip ice cream; chocolate brownies with chocolate icing; fried eggs with hash browns and burger patties; French toast with bacon… We were fed very well.
On my last day at K bar Z, I added a pin to the world map of ranch visitors, on the wall in the dining room – I was the first guest from Perth.
To finish, a picture taken by Tommy, one of my fellow photographers who became a friend. Jac and I caught up with Tommy over dinner in Dallas later in the year.
- I was the only person in the group using mirrorless cameras (Fujifilm X-T1) – I was pleased with how my cameras performed in the lighting conditions, the rain and cold, and the fast-moving action.
- I mainly used my 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses for cowboys and horses; 23mm for food.
- I lost my 18-55mm lens hood somewhere in the woods near my cabin. I searched for it unsuccessfully. I bought a replacement when I got home.
- I brought my tripod along on this trip but didn’t use it for a single shot!
- More on my my photography travel gear.
Wyoming Cowboys, Wild Horses and Western Photography workshop
The tour was run by Jess Lee and Tamara Gooch. The 2014 tour was from 1 to 8 August (the dates vary year to year).
The cost was US$2995 plus $350 single supplement which covered guiding, ground transfers and accommodation. Meals were not included in the cost.
For the cowboys portion of the workshop, we stayed at:
K Bar Z Guest Ranch & Outfitters
Shoshone National Forest, next to Yellowstone National Park
More on the wild horses portion of the workshop.
My solo USA trip (2014) – about this series
I travelled alone to the United States from late July to mid-August. This trip covered California, Wyoming and Colorado. The primary reason for the trip was to attend a couple of workshops, one on hot air balloon photography and the other on photographing wild horses and cowboys. I also caught up with an old school friend.
- Santa Paula, California, USA – Part 1
- Chasing Balloons, Part 1 – Citrus Classic Balloon Festival
- Chasing Balloons, Part 2
- Santa Paula, California, USA – Part 2
- San Francisco, Part 1 – Golden Gate Hotel (checking in), North Beach by Night walking tour, Sam’s (burger)
- San Francisco, Part 2 – Golden Gate Hotel (breakfast), Hop-on hop-off bus tour. Golden Gate Bridge, Haight-Ashbury, The Pork Store, Painted Ladies, Hearts in San Francisco project, Jardiniere
- San Francisco, Part 3 – breakfast in Chinatown, Ferry Building, sea lions of Pier 39, In-N-Out Burger, Fisherman’s Wharf and dinner with strangers at House of Nanking
- San Francisco, Part 4 – walking around Chinatown, Bacon Bacon truck, Mission District murals, Bi-Rite Creamery and Katana-Ya ramen.
- Wyoming cowboys and staying at K Bar Z ranch – this post
- Wild horses and dining out in Cody, Wyoming
- My first day in Cody, Wyoming
- Denver, Colorado – Part 1 – Mizuna, Cherry Creek North Food & Wine festival, Chihuly exhibition at Denver Botanic Gardens, Argyll Whisky Beer, Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs
- Denver, Colorado – Part 2 – The Curtis, Sam’s No.3, Etai’s, Bistro Vendome, Civic Center Eats, The Buckhorn Exchange, Syrup, Denver public art