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    This Photographer Wants To Change The Way The World Sees Rodeo Cowboys

    "Cowboys are pretty tough. It’s rare that you capture moments of vulnerability."

    It takes a lot of skill and determination to be a true, blue cowboy. So it's hardly surprising that these guys are some of the toughest Australians out there. But photographer Claire Letitia Reynolds saw another side of their tough exterior and she captured this calm in a series of stunning photographs.

    Claire Letitia Reynolds / Via clairereynolds.com

    Her photo series, The Lonesome Cowboy is exhibiting at the 2016 Head On Photo Festival in Sydney. And her goal is simple: she wants people to see the soft side of cowboy life.

    Reynolds followed the New South Wales rodeo circuit on and off for two years. She sometimes saw fear in the eyes of the cowboys before a big ride, something the casual spectator will never see.

    Claire Letitia Reynolds / Via clairereynolds.com

    It was this moment of inner reflection that Reynolds photographed. "They all take their sport very seriously. Many of the cowboys are pretty tough so it’s rare that you capture moments of vulnerability," Reynolds told BuzzFeed.

    "I usually had only 30 seconds to a minute to take the shot, right before or right after they go for a ride, so their expressions are just a very natural look," Reynolds said.

    Claire Letitia Reynolds / Via clairereynolds.com

    Reynolds grew up on a farm herself. She understands the feeling of freedom that comes with being in the country and it inspired her to juxtapose the pensive cowboy portraits against the calming Australian landscape.

    Claire Letitia Reynolds / Via clairereynolds.com

    "Most of the landscapes were photographed on film so they are quite saturated and punchy. I wanted the images to really pop and so I correlated the cowboys to each individual landscape."

    "By placing the cowboys in front of the landscapes I hoped to bring about a sense of vulnerability and escapism."

    Claire Letitia Reynolds / Via clairereynolds.com

    Check Reynolds' exhibit and other amazing photographic work at the Head On Photo Festival, running in Sydney from April 29 - May 29, 2016.

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