Territory Days is back

Memorial Day weekend, 2022 which is hot and current as far as The Resurrected Camera is concerned.  After a two-year shutdown for COVID the local festival is back.

I photographed it for the first time in 2019 here and here.  As I didn’t live close anymore I only went once for a couple hours but I enjoyed myself and finally got to try the alligator I’d missed out on last time: it was anticlimactic.  I will hopefully be able to attend the Teller and El Paso County Fairs this year as well.

Slipped through the cracks

These are culled from four rolls of Tri-X that I shot during the final week or two of taking Advanced Photography, from which this post was taken.  All that semester I had had my instructor Stacy to go through and edit the shots, help me pick out which were the best shots.  But she never got to look at these last four rolls, so even though I had them developed before the Summer break started I never looked too closely at them, I think I just wasn’t feeling too confident with my own editing skills back then.  I feel more confident now, but still I’m sure some day someone might go back through all my shots and say, “Well why didn’t you include these?”  So it goes…

I started my Instagram going in mostly chronological order and have gotten through all of my VA4110 images plus these.

I had just purchased my 2/35 Super-Takumar lens so was trying it out quite a lot back then, and found that I really liked that particular focal length so I didn’t take it off the body for weeks.  Even though I started shooting Nikon in early 2020 I didn’t buy my 35mm f/1.4 AI’d Nikkor until nearly a year and a half later.  Since I have though, that and the 50mm f/1.4 are nearly the only two lenses I use.

Trolley ride

Every once in a while I get to ride along instead of driving, it gets me shots I wouldn’t otherwise.

I remember the saying that “if you have a camera, you’re a photographer.”  Well nearly everyone’s a photographer here.  A lot can be said about people who spend their life experiencing it through a screen.

Behind the scenes of social media

In all my tours I’ve never had so many pictures taken by passengers.  Every single one of them wanted so many taken at the same spot and all were very particular about how they looked.  Now evidently these days men have a reputation of being poor photographers, probably because they get too exhausted by demanding subjects.  Then again with my coworker Cougar and myself they found a couple guys willing to fawn over them like schoolboys and jump through whatever hoop they wanted.

Talking to passengers more recently, I guess that places like Garden of the Gods are getting notoriety thanks to lots of posts on Instagram, TikTok, and who knows whatever else, I really don’t want to get caught up in it all.  I don’t know how all these phone pics they/we took turned out but honestly the whole experience was eye-opening; they were much more concerned with how they looked in pictures than what the pictures were of, I think.  Is this the modern woman?  After the fact, I find the whole thing shallow and depressing.

What tourists see

This is a Kodak single-use camera that someone abandoned/lost back in 2017.  I totally forgot I had it for a long time but eventually had the thing developed and here are the results.  “Disposable” (actually recyclable) single-use cameras are becoming a thing of the past it seems.  When I moved to Colorado in 2009 and in the first few years of driving Jeep tours I could still find them at grocery stores and gift shops, but it’s been a few years since I noticed any.  I suppose that cameras on phones have become so ubiquitous that they really aren’t needed, and why this couple wouldn’t have had another way to take pictures I’ll never know.

I find the photos to be pretty standard.  There are the telltale signs that they’ve never seen a landscape like the Rocky Mountains and want a reminder; I was like that myself when I first came here in 2003, but you get over it.  I’m not sure where they were before Garden of the Gods but I know exactly where they stood while they were in Colorado Springs, because it’s where every other tourist stands.  They all stand so patiently one at a time waiting their turn to pretend like they’re the sole discoverers of a pristine landscape when the reality is that this 2-square-mile park gets 7 million visitors a year. It’s a conceit that I’m guilty of following in my own images that are for me, but I’m busy trying to tear it down in my photo project.

And I find these images to be as throwaway as the camera on which they were made: there is nothing really insightful to be found here, just the same insta-feed fodder that every other person spits out.  Kenneth Wajda’s words come to mind.  Except that I remember coming to Garden of the Gods (and Colorado) for the first time and I remember how I felt, and I’m sure these people are feeling the same thing.  But I also have no doubt that these images exist in other people’s feeds and camera rolls with little variation.  That said, they deserve to be seen, and although I’ve been a bit critical what I’m trying to say is that these images are nothing special without the addition of the people who made them.

Day One on the trolley

Honestly I’m not a fan of driving it myself, got a few different reasons behind it, from the number of shorter tours per day to the kind of clientele you get (and the corresponding tips).  But I’ll take it every once in a while if someone else needs a break from it for a week.  It provides excellent fodder for Gawkers As Spectacle.

Also fun to watch my different expressions throughout the sequence.

2021 late season jeep tours

The most up-to date I’ve ever been on producing photos, considering I took all these between August and October.  And I still have all of 2019 which I haven’t published, plus all of 2020 which should all be developed next week.

I suppose I cherry picked here a bit but then I didn’t have as many considering I had a different job most of the Summer.  But it’s kind of odd that I can lump an entire season into one post and nine images; however, there will be more.