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Final Edit
May 2004

The image we rescued from the cutting room floor.

Final Edit Editor Illustrations editor Dennis Dimick discusses the composition and energy of this image.

Cut It?
"Even though this picture is dynamic, you don't see all that many buffalo," says illustrations editor Dennis Dimick. "So you don't get a sense of the magnitude of the herds that are coming back on the Great Plains. Also, the buffalo on the right side of the frame is cut off, so the image's composition isn't as visually pleasing as the one we ultimately placed in the magazine."

Or Keep It?
"I love the energy of this photograph," Dimick continues. "With the buffalo running across the frame, it looks almost like a movie. Jim worked very hard to get this picture. He anticipated where the buffalo would run and managed to get very close. Actually, this image has more energy than the one we eventually ran in the magazine, which made it quite appealing for Final Edit."

—Saadia Iqbal

May Final Edit
Photograph by Jim Richardson Send this image as a postcard

Great Plains
Hunting an image that captures the comeback of the buffalo, photographer Jim Richardson went to the Triple U Buffalo Ranch in South Dakota, where he spent several cloudy days waiting for just the right light. When the sun finally broke through, he hopped in his car and headed toward the herd. Almost on cue, the herd headed for him. For a few fleeting seconds Richardson found himself driving alongside thousand-pound (450-kilogram) animals running 25 miles an hour (40 kilometers an hour). Steering with one hand and shooting wildly with the other, he never imagined he'd get anything worthwhile—until he saw the frame above. The bison eventually began grazing on a far hill, allowing him to make the image on pages 4-5. But the shot above was a contender. "It had energy, drama, and movement," says Richardson, "but it didn't have big numbers indicating a comeback. The other shot was more symbolic of the Great Plains, and that was the deciding factor, no matter which one I'd rather hang on my wall."

—Joel Bourne, Jr.

Check out The Great Plains, the feature story for which this photo was originally taken.
Final Edit Photographer Zoom In on more images by Jim Richardson

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