20 Photos

Gallery photos: Round bales (updated)

20+ photos of farm equipment

Two large combines working side-by-side to cut a large field of ripe wheat north of Havre, Montana. → Buy a Print or License Photo

Farming, most would say, is a low-tech job. It involves mostly soil, sweat, and seeds. And in many regards that is true. But there are also many tools farmers use, both low tech and high tech.

Arguably the first introduction of high technology into the world of agriculture was when Cyrus McCormick introduced the horse-drawn reaper in 1831. The reaper was a revolutionary innovation for the harvesting of crops and would greatly increase agricultural productivity in the United States and abroad. Some years later the horse would be replaced as the primary implement on the farm with the tractor and then the mechanization of agriculture really took off.

Farm equipment and farm machinery is today integral to the success of agriculture. Combines, which are commonplace on farms throughout Montana, can cost nearly $500,000. Yes, that's a five with five zeros. Think about that. How much wheat must a farmer harvest in order to pay for that expensive piece of machinery? At roughly 60 bushels of wheat per acre a farmer will need 8771 acres of wheat to break even. And that doesn't pay for the tractors, and grain carts, etc. and other pieces of farm equipment on farms.

Farm equipment is big business. But there's something beautiful about farm machinery. Talk to any farmer and ask what their favorite tractor was and they will wax poetic about some obscure model no longer seen in the farm fields of America. Mine was the Massey Ferguson Super 90.

In this my latest installment of 20+ photos I'm including my new gallery of photos of farm equipment. I take a lot of photographs of farm equipment, but if I'm every going to photograph for the likes of John Deere or Case IH I'm going to have to make a lot more, which I plan to do in the years ahead. So be prepared. Please take this moment to enjoy these farm photos of farm equipment and photos of farm machinery. This agricultural photographer enjoys making them and hopefully if you have any farming in your background you will enjoy seeing them.

20+ photos of the Kellam Ranch

A cowboy roping calves for branding on a ranch near Cleveland, Montana. → License Photo

Instead of having just one massive gallery of cowboy photos and In an effort to better organize my cowboy photos I have decided to make a separate gallery for each ranch I visit. This is why I have created this gallery of 20+ photos of the Kellam Ranch.

The Kellam Ranch is located south of Chinook, Montana near the tiny unincorporated town of Cleveland. It's a special place where neighbors join from all around to help brand cattle. And they all have fun doing it. For some reason I always get some of my best cowboy photos on their ranch too. The weather always seems to cooperate and the lighting is always very good. I don't know why, but I always appreciate the opportunity to photograph there nonetheless.

Below are the 20+ photos I have made over the years at the Kellam Ranch. I hope you enjoy them.

20+ photos of telecommunications

Not many know that in my prior life (pre-2009) I worked in the telecommunications industry. I managed the construction of telecommunications tower and antenna sites across the Midwest. This including managing real estate acquisition (or site acquisition) and engineering, too. It was a great career, but it was evolving, and I found photography much more fulfilling so I made the change.

Telecommunications is the reason I first got into photography. My first camera, a Canon EOS 20D, was purchased so I could zoom in on antennas to make sure crews were installing them correctly. I was through the practice of using that camera that I became hooked on photography.

As a result of my background I find myself photographing telecommunications facilities still from time to time. As such I decided to pull those photos of towers and photos of antennas together to create a gallery of telecommunications stock photography for you and others to see. That's what you see below; my latest installment in the series of 20+ photos. I know they are not as interesting as my photos of cowboys, photos of cowgirls, and photos of rural Montana, but to those in the communications industry I'm sure they serve a purpose. And of course, every time you use your cell phone in the Midwest it is possible you are talking via a tower or antenna site I helped build...some of which can be seen in the photos below.

20+ photos of the Bear Paw Mountains

Fog drapes downtown Harlem, Montana with the Bear Paw Mountains looming large in the background.   → Buy a Print   or   License Photo

Fog drapes downtown Harlem, Montana with the Bear Paw Mountains looming large in the background. → Buy a Print or License Photo

The Bear Paw Mountains, in a sense, are the forgotten stepchild of mountains in Montana. To be sure, there are more famous and more visited mountain ranges in the state. The Beartooth Mountains, for example, boast the state's tallest mountain‒Granite Peak‒which is 12,807 feet tall. And they also have the scenic Beartooth Highway. The Lewis Range features Glacier National Park. The Absaroka Range forms the eastern boundary of Yellowstone National Park along a place called the Paradise Valley; a name which should give any other mountain range an inferiority complex. The Pryor Mountains are famous for wild horses, the Swan Range is famous for the Bob Marshall Wilderness, the Flathead Range has magnificent skiing, and the Bitterroot Mountains, Sapphire Range, Garnet Range, Rattlesnake Mountains, and the Reservation Divide all serve as a beautiful backdrop for the city of Missoula. But sitting alone, surrounded by prairie, are the Bear Paw Mountains. And in their own right they are every bit as beautiful and interesting as Montana's many other groups of mountains in the state.

Located in Blaine, Chouteau, and Hill Counties, the Bear Paw Mountains are considered an island mountain range. Baldy Mountain, which rises 6,916 feet high is the highest peak in the Bear Paws. And although many have argued for years over their exact name (some say the correct name is Bears Paw Mountains, others say Bear's Paw Mountains, and still others say the correct name is Bearpaw Mountains), virtually every local who lives in the shadow of them and every newspaper of record in the area calls them the Bear Paw Mountains.

I first laid eyes on the Bear Paw Mountains in 2010. They seemed way off in the distance when I arrived in Havre. Growing up I had not seen any mountains up close until I was 27 years of age. And though the Bear Paw Mountains were not rugged like the Rocky Mountain front, and not as tall as the peaks in the Beartooth Range, they were nonetheless inviting. The north side of the mountains, for the most part, were polished smooth by the glaciers during the Ice Age. The south side of the mountain range is more rocky and rugged. But the real beauty of the mountains is located within the hills and peaks in between, where many people live, work, and play.

Over the years I have many photos of the Bear Paw Mountains. In this my latest installment of 20+ photos I am including many more than 20 photographs of the Bear Paw Mountains...a mountain range few people outside of north central Montana will ever see. But perhaps you should.

So please take a moment to flip through my Bear Paw Mountains photographs, which compliment my many other photos of Montana. These are the scenes and scenery people who live in this region enjoy all of the time. And perhaps one of the big reasons you don't know about the Bear Paw Mountains is because that's how the locals would have it. Why else would you want to share these beautiful landscapes with anyone else?