Cows are anything but sexy, so thinking of them as a good photography model or subject would probably be considered a bit odd. I must say, my opinion of cows is probably less romantic than the average person. After spending six years of my youth working on a large scale dairy farm, I’ve lost nearly all interest in spending my free time around these big and smelly animals. I have no illusion of how “cute” baby calves are and how much “fun” it would be to feed and take care of them. Spoiler alert: when you have over one hundred calves to feed twice daily, seven days a week, the “fun” runs out in a hurry!
Despite my current lack of interest in bovine, cows are not difficult to spot on the great plains and a lot of areas in the American West. After all, much of the landscape has been modified by man in order to raise cattle. Indeed, they are an important food resource and without them the world would be a less tasty place! Can you imagine the world without ribeye steak or a good beef roast with mashed potatoes and gravy?!?
This weekend I went for a drive down the Bad River Road outside Pierre, South Dakota. After driving around for an hour or so, I was confronted with a beautifully colored sunset but the majority of the landscape was still nothing but short, brown, and wholly uninspiring grass, I turned my attention to these large four legged residents of the expansive ranch land and said to a herd of cows, “You will be my models tonight!” Well, cows are not sexy, but it turns out they can still look good in a picture!