A Slice of Western Kansas

A Slice of Western Kansas

My trip to Ft. Collins, Colorado was a double success for it allowed me some photo opportunities in Western Kansas. I got to spend a few hours at the Monument Rocks/Chalk Cliffs in Gove County. I liken that area to a miniature Bryce Canyon. Took some 7×17 shots and I hope I did the place some justice.

From Gove County, I headed South and got on Good Ol’ Highway 50 which took me to this setting just a couple miles West of Kinsley. As a small child, we passed by this elevator frequently on our way to Dodge City. Luckily, it has been preserved by placing it on the Historic Register. Other wise, it would have been torn down long ago. These small Gano Grain Company elevators were once an iconic symbol of the region. Photographer and author Wright Morris made a quite iconic photo of one in the 1940s. I have another shot, done with the 8×10 and from a different perspective, waiting development.

This particular photo was made on Polaroid Type 52 sheet film, another superb product that has been recently discontinued. Such a shame. I feel lucky to be able to show what Polaroid film was capable of. So much more than just the quick snapshot. Ansel Adams knew this well too.

  1. This is a great shot Alex. Sounds like a fun trip. Next time you’re in Fort Collins check out the Center for Fine Art Photography. It’s a great gallery and organization for photogs.

    • Bill Mitchell
    • June 25th, 2008

    Hi Alex.
    Good to see that you’ve resumed posting. I’d begun to be afraid that you’d lost interest, or decided that it was too much trouble.

    • Alex Hawley
    • June 25th, 2008

    Hey Bill,

    Glad you found this site! Good to hear from you again.

    • terryownby
    • March 30th, 2009

    Love this shot! Reminds me when I was younger living up in Montana and I was first getting started with photography…I would go out hunting for old grain elevators like this.

    One of my former students out in Denver shoots panos with a Fuji 120 camera and when he went to his family’s farm up in Canada, did some nice work around the elevators there. Here’s his link: http://www.sirnick.com/Gallery/panoramic.html


    • Alex Hawley
    • March 30th, 2009

    Thanks for both the link and the comment Terry.

    • Mike
    • July 26th, 2012

    Hi Alex, have you stopped shooting grain elevators? I’ve always enjoyed your work.


      • Alex Hawley
      • July 27th, 2012

      Hi Mike! As a matter of fact, “No” to your question. Got a couple recent ones in an e-mail to you. Switched to digital last year. Now I need to get this blog going again.

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