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Focusing on the Wild West

Alplaus cafe hosts area photographer’s ‘True Grit’ art show

Sue Clark’s photo “Tombstone Cowboy. Mr. Kidd” is one of the many featured shots of western life in her “True Grit” art show at Samuel’s in Alplaus.

Sue Clark’s photo “Tombstone Cowboy. Mr. Kidd” is one of the many featured shots of western life in her “True Grit” art show at Samuel’s in Alplaus.

— “While most artist are depicting thoroughbred horses and racing, I specialized in western photography,” she said. “I’ve been to numerous locations out west. It is like eye candy, everywhere you look out in the southwest … it is just so different from the northeast.”

She cited the 1940s film “How Green Was My Valley,” directed by John Ford, as a strong influence on her interest in becoming a photographer. She said the composition of film is perfect and allowed her to see the different layers that make a photo great.

“I just loved the fact that everywhere you looked in his filming everything was in focus and everything worked with everything else,” she said. “The background is not going to argue with the foreground, it is going to compliment it.”

What she enjoys most about capturing the southwest is how the scenery is already primed for pictures.

“When I look at the American western icons that I have taken a picture of, it is almost already painted for me. It is a very colorful subject and there are faces that are worn and lined and have worked hard on ranches,” she said. “I just respect that way of life and there are certainly people out west that it’s still how they make their living.”

For six years she has also had her work in juried shows at the Hubbard Museum of the American West, a Smithsonian affiliate, which is owned and operated by the City of Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico. This year she has three photographs featured in the show.

“It is tough competition, because they are out there all the time,” she said of the other artists. “It is a gorgeous museum that focuses on anything and all things west.”

She said she liked showcasing her work at Samuel’s because it allows people to sit and enjoy her art as they have a bite to eat or surf the Internet.

“They can actually stop and look at the art and photography and get the essence of it,” she said.

For information on Sue Clark and to see her artwork, visit her website at www.suephotography.com.

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