A Midwesterner’s Dream
Natalie Heller’s solo exhibit portrays her fascination of the “old west” from the perspective of a midwesterner. An experienced and award-winning photographer, now, she’s living her dream, immersing herself in western lifestyle and scenic vistas as she views both through the lens of her camera.
“I’ve always been in love with horses and the American West having grown up on western film —all of us photography “boomers” seem to be saying that these days). So it’s thrilling to have achieved the good fortune to photograph some of our local ranch life. My favorite photo shoots are being out on the ranches, absorbing every detail of work during branding season. The dust, the smoke, the smell of leather and the scent of sweat on the horses. I find myself leaning in to take the tight shots that convey the details in the chaps and spurs, their creases and textures, well-worn leather or a weathered face. With tight shots, the viewer’s eye is drawn to the details that typically may go unnoticed. Achieving in the printed image, what I saw through the lens, is greatly rewarding to me. ”
The Drive Home won 1st Place in the March 2021 issue of Colorado Country Life magazine. Heller said this about taking the photo:
“It’s a real privilege to be invited onto any ranch operation and permitted to photograph their families working together to brand their calves or push the herd towards their home range. This was the last photo of the day and it turned out the best of all. The cool rain on the backs of the cattle caused a light mist above them and the rain helped to saturate the colors in the landscape. The horses, the riders and the dogs all lined up perfectly for the final shot.”
Natalie Heller is showing at the Montrose Center for the Arts during the month of August 2021. MCA, 11S. Park Ave., Montrose CO. 970-78-9428. mc4arts.com. Open 10 am t0 4 pm, Tuesday – Saturday.