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Optically speaking, the image that a photographic lens projects is circular,
notwithstanding the fact that cameras are designed to utilize rectangular
or square portions of that pattern. The covering power of a lens is
expressed in terms of the diameter of its image circle. Since lenses are
central to my craft–they do the “drawing” for me–I suppose I could stretch
a point and refer to my travels to photograph in the West as my “image

The circles I have made throughout western North America have taken me
to fine, often dramatically sculptural country and have enabled me to meet
and work with fascinating, hospitable people.–Jay Dusard



Jolean Hoffman, farrier,
Tombstone, Arizona, 2000

This ranch-raised horsewoman, who had just turned 21 a few weeks before this picture was made, shoes our horses. She was a top student and apprentice in her chosen profession, and is now her own boss. The portrait was actually done at our place, J Bar D Quarter Horses, near Douglas, Arizona. Jolean’s partner in this shot is our stallion, Docs Juniper Dust, freshly shod.

© Jay Dusard, Douglas, Ariz

Chuck Stormes, saddlemaker,
Calgary, Alberta, 1988

Saddles made by this Canadian horseman are renowned across this continent and beyond. Unsurpassed in design and craftsmanship, his creations serve working cowpunchers and, in some circumstances, are collected and displayed strictly as fine sculpture. Friend Chuck locked the shop door, setting aside the whole afternoon for the making of a portrait–a rare opportunity for this appreciative photographer. In time, the photograph pretty much designed itself. The required five-second exposure meant that Chuck had to be both locked in and comfortable. Wherebetter than seated at his stamping bench amidst a halo of gorgeous patterns hand drawn on curling, translucent sheets of mylar? A blank section of floor was bothersome, so I tossed down the leather snake–the first item I grabbed from the scrap barrel.

© Jay Dusard, Douglas, Ariz.

© Jay Dusard

.©Jay Dusard

Merle, Clayton, and Sharon Edsall, Apache Springs Ranch, Arizona, 2000

The Edsalls are ranchers and horse trainers from Montana who sometimes winter in Arizona. I met them two years ago at a Joe Wolter cow-working clinic that they hosted at Apache Springs. Since then, my wife Kathie and I have participated in several Edsall family colt-starting and horsemanship clinics. We give these folks the highest marks for the quality and effectiveness of their training methods and teaching. Their elder son, Roy Edsall, is absent from this portrait because he had a cowboying job in Montana.

© Jay Dusard, Douglas, Ariz.


Photographer Jay Dusard of Douglas, Ariz., received a 1981 Guggenheim Fellowship that led to the publication of “The North American Cowboy: A Portrait.” Between travels to photograph and teach workshops, he raises a few quarter horses, punches cows, and plays jazz cornet.

See Jay's web work at <>. He can be e-mailed at: <>. Find out about Jay’s photo workshops at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography <>.

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