VIDEO: Sam Abell
Hi Band

Low Band

My year-long search to find bison skulls for the concluding photograph in an essay on the life of Charles M. Russell ended in a dry Canadian prairie. After finishing the skulls in the grass I considered my work finished. But the results were flat and I persuaded my editor, David Arnold, to send me back six months later.

Conditions the afternoon I arrived were harsh and marginal - bitter cold and only moments of life left. As I framed the still life a bull bison unexpectedly strode into the background, animating the picture in a way that Russell himself would have appreciated.



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