Still photographer captures ' Great Plains' images

Friday, October 22nd 2004, 12:17 pm
By: News On 6

The Great Plains is dotted with many small towns and places that are little more than wide spots on the road. Those small towns and rural settings are what attract the attention of one man you are about to meet.

News on 6 anchor Craig Day has the story of an interesting Oklahoman who is crisscrossing the plains and prairies with his camera in hand, capturing the view.

Shane Brown notices things that many others don't see or simply overlook. Brown is an up and coming photographer. "When I'm out shooting, primarily the audience that I'm trying to satisfy is myself. Then if I can bring those images back, and have other people appreciate them, then I feel like I'm a success.”

The Oklahoma native travels the section roads and rural highways of the Great Plains, capturing photographs of forgotten places. Images that are steadily disappearing from the American landscape. "These old brick and mortar buildings have become feed storage bins or barns or just places for people to park their tractors where at one time they were a center of commerce." Grain bins in Kansas, a hay field in Colfax County, Nebraska and a storm shelter in Beaver County, Oklahoma.

Brown grew up in a small town in Oklahoma. But he admits he rarely had the chance or took the time to visit other small towns. After four years in the US Air Force. He came back to his home state and began studying photography. That's when his newfound love of rural American settings took off. Now his work is noticed and enjoyed by more people who also appreciate the simple beauty of the plains.

His "Great Plains Schema" exhibit is on display in Tulsa. Another show is scheduled in Lincoln, Nebraska later this year. The state Capitol in Oklahoma City will also house an exhibit. "Hay bales in a wide open field. That lets you know that there is someone there. I believe that represents certain values or ideology or way of life that not as many people support anymore." That way of life, those values are what Brown hopes people take away from his photographs. They are what keep him racking up miles and soaking in experiences on the Great Plains.

Shane Brown's photographs are on display at the Joseph Gierek Fine Art gallery on Cherry Street in Tulsa. "Great Plains Schema", photographs of the cultural landscape runs through November 6th.