One Shot at a Time: Moving beyond the familiar

Mural in downtown Glenrock

The mural on Birch Street in Glenrock, pictured July 6. 

Zach Miners photo/The Glenrock Independent

Zach Miners,

It seemed to come out of nowhere. I was walking along Birch Street in Glenrock on July 6, in search of someone to help point me in the right direction for a story when I saw this massive, beautiful mural painted onto the side of a brick building. I stopped and knew I had to photograph it.

It’s a Western visual, depicting a butterscotch colored horse speckled with splotches of brown and rust paint, ridden by an unidentifiable man.

A group of young people walked by as I began to frame the shot. I could have taken the photograph with them walking by in front of the mural, but I decided not to. I did not want anything else to distract from the main focus of the picture.

I found the mural alluring not just because of the quality of the work, but because it reminded me of some of the street scenes I photographed when I lived in San Francisco.

It felt like a familiar sight and yet its subject matter and its geographic location were new to me.

San Francisco is chock-full of murals and I photographed a lot of them. But it’s difficult to take a good picture of a mural without it becoming merely a copy of someone else’s work. I often tried to incorporate other elements into the picture so it could tell a larger story about life in San Francisco.

Now, as I explore Glenrock and Converse County I am constantly thinking about the street photography I made in San Francisco, and how I can create something different here.

I have come across other street scenes in Glenrock or Douglas which have compelled me to photograph them in a similar way. A curved lamp pole slithering over a gas station, flanked by clouds. A long, narrow alleyway with loose powerlines falling limply to the ground.

I am trying, however, not to photograph such scenes, which are not unique to Converse County.

Instead, I am focused on making pictures which are more firmly rooted in life here, that capture the unique essence of Wyoming and how I see it.

In other words, instead of photographing murals of horses, I’ve since made a variety of new pictures of actual horses, whether they be at the County Fair, State Fair or grazing in a pasture along Route 319 near Glendo.


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

The Glenrock Independent is located in the Bronco Building

Office hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday - 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Subscriber Login