Friday, September 14, 2012

Ruth Ann Olivares Reviews John Dyer

John Dyer is a San Antonio based photographer who happens to be a great friend of mine and actually the one person who made me see how wonderful photography could be. I took a basic photo class with him  about 4 years ago at Palo Alto and started out with my little pocket camera! lol! by midway into the semester I had purchased my first little "Rebel" and by the next semester I purchased my first fast lens for  sports photography.

John has 30 years experience and is well known for photographing famous Tejano, Conjunto singers, sports figures as well as the people and culture of South Texas. He is influenced by Russell Lee and Gary Winogand.  His latest book called Hidden Treasures, San Antonio is mainly photographing places in the city that are known through generations for their beauty or just  places to gather  but the one book that intrigues me the most is called El Vaquero Real from which these photos are from.

Dyer traveled through out Texas to find real cowboys who still worked in the old traditional vaquero style.  I loved the photography so much I had to go out and find the book. Most of the images are black and white tinted with a romantic element to them. They depict the vaqueros emotion, action as well as the raw environment they work in daily. Dyer manages to take this awesome photo on the bottom at the King Ranch. The four vaqueros running down the sand reminds me of  a few Fredrick Remington paintings where the cowboys are racing from a gun fight.."Aiding a Comrade, etc...."

Each photograph I've chosen is centered, however not all are in his books. For these, I enjoy and appreciate the straight forwardness of the idea or event taking place. For instance, in the the top photo, without the entire frame of the scene the viewer would not understand the vast and  immense HOTTER THEN HELL environment  these men work in from sun up (4:00 a.m.) to sundown...(Literally when you can't see anymore.) as well as the cold winter (2nd photo).  All his photos have a unity to them because he stays with the same subject matter so his books are gorgeously put together. He leans on nice wide angle shots as well as some with a great depth of field. Check out his book!

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