Category Archives for // photography
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    Zapata Tent Camps

    “We’ve got an hour before the sun sets, should we ride out and find some bison?”

    And so kicked off our camp out on the Medano among the wild bison. A combination of laid-back spontaneity and the freedom of having 55,000 acres to yourself set the tone for the evening. With the tents set up and fire ring built, Kate, Jessie and I had our chores done and could go have some fun. We set off north in search of some

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    by Emily Paxson

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    Christmas in Spring

    Photographer Matt DeLorme reflects on his first branding experience at the Chico.

    by Ranchlands Review

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  • Chasing the Green

    This spring feels like it’s pregnant. As if it is about to burst out unchecked as a living being.

    by Duke Phillips

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March 23, 2017

Photographing the Flat

My favourite photographs are the ones that manage to get the Chico as it really is: a huge, rolling expanse of yellow-brown prairie, freckled with cholla, and ringed by a faraway line of mountains.

April 9, 2013

Photography at Zapata

We began working with Colorad-based photographer Steve Weaver in 1999 when we started managing the Chico Basin Ranch. When we launched our partnership with The Nature Conservancy and started managing the Zapata in 2004, Steve was one of the first photographers to join us on the ranch to explore. Over the past 8 years, Steve has spent countless hours photographing the landscape, the bison and the people and has created a portfolio and knowledge of the ranch that is unparalleled.


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April 8, 2013

Running in the Horses

When are working on horseback, the horses are run in either in the evening last thing, or first thing in the morning, depending on when we are leaving.  Notice the young mob at the last.  These are the young weanlings that we have just taken off the mares and are halter breaking.  Part of their training is putting them in with the remuda so that they get used to running into the corrals without acting crazy and flying all over

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April 5, 2012

Night Sky at Zapata

Our latest photo group that we hosted, 8 students from Second Baptist School in Houston, spent a evening photographing the night sky. Upon request, this seemed odd to me. However, once I saw what they had captured, I was shocked that it wasn’t a request that we get more often.

The night sky at Zapata is unlike any other I’ve ever seen. While you can see the city lights of Alamosa on the horizon, the sky is vast, bright and complete–

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October 25, 2011

Bison Time

Our annual bison gather is starting this Friday and is one of the most exciting times of the year. The crew from Chico will be coming over to help and we’ll be gathering the bison into one big pasture for roughly a week or as many days as it will take.

Everyone has been preparing and gearing up for this time. As I write this Asta and Tess are putting together lists upon lists for everything from food to the horses

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August 26, 2011

Steve Weaver’s Workshop is Underway!

Yesterday began Steve Weaver’s photography workshop at Zapata. We have people from all over the US here for it, some professional photographers and some hobby photographers. This morning the group left the lodge at 5am to watch the sun come up over the Medano side of the ranch. Apparently the sunrise cooperated as they got some great shots! The day was spent in the Education Facility honing this morning’s images and preparing for this evening’s shoot. Right now, they’re all

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September 24, 2010

Photo Workshop Recap

Our photo workshop ended yesterday and was a great success! Bobbie Goodrich and Susan Burns led their 6 participants on adventures out onto the ranch and into the surrounding landscape each morning at sunrise and evening at sunset to capture the valley at its prettiest. Asta ran the horses a couple of times so they could photograph them in movement against the sand dunes and sangres as the background, and a couple of us got up pretty darn early to

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