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​If the Skin Fits, Wear It

May 9, 2022

Recently, I had the opportunity to photograph reptile skins selected from the vast supply available at my favorite boot maker’s business, Stallion Boot Company.

(Stallion Boot Company)
Out of thousands of options, I was drawn to the textures and patterns of reptiles. I’ve never considered myself a fan of reptiles, but once again through the inspiration of the lens, I was fascinated by the patterns that nature provides as a means of protection, evolution, and beauty. As I began processing the images in this body of work, I was surprised by the primal resonance that it created within me. It’s as if I connected to a prehistoric time when these creatures roamed the earth in great numbers.

(Citrine Lace, Diamond Python)
I was interested to discover through a macro lens that the textures and patterns of many reptiles mimic our ancient rock formations that created their kingdoms. The wrinkles in the python look like the sandstone crevasses seen in Canyonlands, Utah or along the Delores River in Western Colorado. The crocodile looks like some of the rock formations near Split Rock in Wyoming.

(Above: Split Rock, WY - Image courtesy of BLM)
(Rocky Road, Crocodile)
And the ostrich, more recently evolved from reptiles, has an eerie resemblance to the human skeletal spine.

(Night Crawler, Ostrich)
The wonder of these animals and their history is yet another reminder of how connected we are to all creatures, to the earth and to each other no matter how different we appear on the outside. In the future I’ll look at reptiles with a different perspective, as if these ancient creatures have wisdom to impart when we take the time to watch and listen. When we look deeply at the layers of the world around us, we’re inspired by the magnitude, wonder and design of creation and the connection among us all. Art is a great adventure in exploring and experiencing the world.

Click here to view the High Desert Collection in my Latest Images Gallery.