Durango, Colorado - 2024
37” x 58” Unframed 52” x 73” Framed Edition of 12
56” x 88” Unframed 71” x 103” Framed Edition of 12
This photograph has a palpable sense of place, and the heavy overnight snowfall lends a mood to the story. We know this train track and the dramatic cutting well, and film scholars will also be familiar with the location from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
My idea was to have a wide enough frame to include outlaws on the slopes which grandly saddle the train track below. However, this was no easy ride for the cowboys as the heavy snow also covers big boulders and rocks that are impossible to detect until it is too late. There in lay the riddle of this photograph, in that the more virginal the snow, the stronger the likely visual, but also the harder the execution. It always tends to be that way, and we would prefer tough execution and good conditions than the other way around.
The Iron horse played an integral role in the mythological lore of the Wild West, and in this instance, I wanted my camera to dive into the pages of a Western storybook. This was an untamed and loosely governed wilderness occupied by tough men with merciless traits. That was my story - the beauty of frontier landscapes was often coupled with trouble and danger.
I would like to thank all those who helped that cold morning in Colorado, especially Al Harper and his team in Durango. Without the full partnership of the train company, this idea would have been fanciful at best. As it was, everyone did their job, and we left town with a special image. ~ David Yarrow