THE LONESOME, CROWDED WEST
Photos and Captions: Eric Warner
Cruising through the lonesome, crowded West, you find yourself staring blankly at the 1967 barbershop sign as you drive through “town.” Northbound, your exit transitions gracefully into raw country. You start to gather speed as the terrain morphs like a chain reaction in the parking lot.
What stories could we share if those shop walls could talk? Tales of battles between fish, man and current. Tales of color; sunups, sundowns, rainbowed scales and the intoxicating blue of the horizon. Tales of sound; tall grass in wind, water-tickled stone, grazing deer and the crack of thunderclouds that feed the valley’s waterway—the meandering bloodlines of the eastern Sierras. Tales of camper vans, frozen waders, man’s best friends, star-lined skylines and fireside fellowship.
Eric Warner’s nomadic, uncluttered approach to image-gathering speaks directly to fly anglers. He shoots exclusively on film, doesn’t take shortcuts and works hard for every image. “Just like shooting film, flyfishing causes me to slow down and take in the environment and my immediate surroundings,” he says. “If I’m not aware of what’s going on around me when I’m flyfishing, I’m not going to catch any fish. With film photography, if I’m not paying attention to light, composition or my surroundings, I am going to make a lousy exposure.
“I am really trying to get a nostalgic, timeless look to my photos. Whether it be shooting black and white or experimenting with different filters on color negative film, I want my photos to take on an older feel to them. I strive to get the look that I want straight from the negative. I don’t edit any of my photos in Photoshop because I’m looking to get that perfect exposure exactly when I click my shutter. I strive for a day when every photograph on a roll is a perfect exposure. I don’t know if that day will ever come, but it drives me to keep shooting and experimenting.”
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