Successful adventures in self-portraiture

Back around 2016 I was making quite a lot of self-portraits, as part of the first iteration of Advanced Photo, and again in 2020 during the start of the COVID pandemic.  Recently reviewing those photos for the first time has inspired me to start again, I think due to the death of my mother.  It’s always a yardstick for me to measure where I’m at mentally and as this has been a trying time since December started; that’s what seems to bring it back up again.  Just recently Kodak’s Instagram account started a trend with #photographersonfilm which has included quite a few mirror selfies so at least I can say I was ahead of the curve there, but then again I haven’t really put any out there til now.

Ilford HP5+, Kodak Tri-X 400, Ilford XP2 Super

These are different from the self-portraiture exhibited in this post.  It’s a completely different project and older.  Except for the ones with the cowboy hat.  But most of these are taken in the mirror, I’ve been doing that since 2016 at least, and always enjoy when I can get my camera in the shot as well.  There are occasions when I’ll ask someone to take a picture for me and how it usually works is they take a photo of me with their phone and I’d like one of myself with my own camera, or I just straight up ask them first.  Either way my rule is “My camera, my picture/Your camera, your picture.”  It’s sort of the movie director argument of having “creative vision.”  That though, has resulted in quite a few mishaps because even if I give my camera to someone older that should absolutely know how to use a film camera, they can usually figure out a way to screw it up:

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2021 end-of-year jeep tours

The final series of images where I was trying out Ilford XP2 for the first time.

Not that there aren’t more but I’ve been shooting a few different emulsions since the start of the year, some new and some old friends.

Alternate author photos – Kathy

Back around 2015-16 my friend Kathy wanted me to take pictures of her for use as her official author photo…so far the book(s) she was writing have yet to materialize (I’d love to read them) but when they do hopefully the back photo will feature the photos I took of her using Cinestill 800T.  She liked the portrait I’d done of our mutual friend Duncan and wanted something similar but in color and I did my best I could back then; I think I could probably do better now.  But one thing that I did insist on trying more just for myself, was to put a couple shots through my Canon 7 rangefinder because I wanted to try that Summarit lens out with some Double-X.  And here are those results:

There’s just something about Double-X that just works for me: the tonality, the contrast, whatever it is, it’s one of my favorite films for portraits.  I don’t even think she saw these shots, the roll took a lot longer to use up and even though I posted some of the shots a long time ago I lost the digital files before I uploaded anything on here.  I recently had my scanner out of storage and took the opportunity to rescan a few rolls I seemed to have misplaced, this was among them.

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.

Looking critically at myself

In the last year I’ve been going through a bit of a lifestyle change, and working on improving myself.  Here are a few photos of me that were taken with my cameras sometime around 2017-2019, this seems to be pretty much my average look.

Now this is a photo that a coworker took of me in late 2019:

Now I have usually bought my jeans at thrift stores and balked at paying more than $10-12 for them.  I have usually been around a size 36 waist, but the end of 2019 I was shopping for more jeans and couldn’t fit in 36 anymore, and had to go up to 38; I weighed probably 220lbs.  I was a bit disappointed in myself, but knew that I would only allow it to be a temporary thing; it’s happened before and I got my weight down.  It was already happening in 2020 but accelerated a year ago when I took a construction job and ended up walking for probably 8-10mi per day.  I was able to get down quite a lot, and hit a personal milestone:

I’ve since dropped at least another 5lbs, perhaps 10.  Intermittent fasting has played its part as well: I don’t do too much in the winter and have been eating less without knowing it, but whatever weight I lose I usually put right back on in the summer when I’m eating all day long and it still seems like I’m drained of energy.  Well last year I was able to keep the food intake down, eat higher quality and at the regular hours that I needed them to be.  I’m not someone that is weight-obsessed or that will get on the scale every day, so I don’t know what I currently weigh; really fat percentage is much more important and hopefully I’ve built up a bit of muscle which will of course weigh more than fat anyway. But most importantly for me, I’ve taken a lot of fat off my waist in the last two years which has allowed me to drop down to size 34 jeans and keep it off for more than 6 months, a feat I haven’t achieved since I was 12 or so.  Here is that same pair of size 38 jeans today:


And also the pair of 34 Slim – my Indigo Invitational competition pair.  As it stands now I wonder if 33 Straight might have been a better fit but that will have to wait til next year!
Here are the most recent pictures of myself that I have:

So now I look back at those old pictures and I say to myself…Was I really that fat?  And at the same time I’ll look at new pictures of myself and say…Am I really that thin?  Life’s a process of change and I wouldn’t say that I’m satisfied with myself but I am happier than I was.  I know the obesity rate in the USA is disgustingly high and without wishing to be judgemental I’m sure that there are plenty of people out there wishing they could turn around their life, weight, eating habits, etc.  If you’re reading this I hope you will be encouraged because it is possible to change if you really want to.

Waving all the flags

I have a flag picture that I took years ago, this is a bit of an updated one.  I’d seen this truck driving around Colorado Springs back in 2019 and every once in a while parked at the old honky tonk by our office.  My photo instructor wanted to see better up-close pictures which I got around to taking after the class concluded.

The flag you can’t see is the Revolutionary War yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag.

Happy Independence Day.

RIP Rosco

Another of our drivers has passed unexpectedly, a new guy that started last year who went by the handle Rosco.  He’s been in a couple of photos that I published already but I recently went through all the shots I’d taken to see if I could find more.

There were no real portraits, I’m sorry to say.  We never really got the chance to talk or do too many tours together though I did get to hear him talk to people once or twice and seemed to be very knowledgeable.  RIP Rosco.

Evolution of style: Self-centered 2

2021 was the year that I started dressing better thanks to working a construction job: I would wear the same clothes every day without washing for a week, and they would get so grimy with concrete dust, that I just felt disgusting all the time, plus it was all kind of samey.  In my initial search for a good pair of steel toe work boots I started watching a lot of videos online, and mostly they were oriented toward fashion boots rather than work boots, but that gave me plenty of ideas for nice clothes that I could enjoy when I wasn’t wearing my construction gear.  That carried over into going back to the job I actually enjoy.  I have to thank Carl Murawski, Stridewise, Rose Anvil, and maybe one or two other channels on the youtube, plus facebook groups like the Alden Shoes Enthusiasts and Selvedge & Quality Supply.  A lot of the pictures that follow were ones that I took to post on one of those two groups; a few were mimicking the standard shots that get posted there but I do try to give them my own personal flair, and I’m sure I’m the only one shooting on film.

Most of all I was concerned with buying new items that were not made in China, but also staying away from companies that don’t offshore their production, and prioritized American-made wherever possible.  By October I could put together an outfit that was 100% Made in USA and I wear that most days.  Brands featured in these photos include: Stetson hats, Brave Star Selvage, Alden Boots, Schaefer Outfitters, Ruddock Shirts/Flying R Ranchwear, Sugar Cane jeans, Nama Denim, Legacy 92.  And this year there is another new pair of jeans from Brave Star plus a pair of White’s cowboy boots.

And since I was adding a lot of color to my look (thanks to the shirts) I started shooting more color film, also handy considering it was Fall.  It seemed to be at the start of the film shortage and I was going around to Wal-Marts and Walgreens in the area and buying up whatever stock they had of Fuji Superia and Kodak Ultramax.  I’m glad I did because it might be the last time I get to use Superia 400 since Fuji shut down their factory in 2020 and we still don’t know right now if they are reopening it or having other companies manufacture film for them from now on.

Selected portraits from the 2022 pre-season meeting

About as current as it gets here at The Resurrected Camera, these date to the middle of May 2022, barely a month ago.  My job hired me to capture portraits of the new drivers at the annual pre-season meeting, to be used on the website; these photos amount to the first professional work I’ve seen out in the wild in quite some time, perhaps ever.  The meeting was held at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort and I used Cheyenne Mountain as a backdrop, shooting out on the patio in the shade of a building as the sun was setting.  I got a few of the not-so-new drivers as well: all in all I made portraits of 15 drivers and include my favorites below:

Besides the cowboys (and cowgirl) themselves, the star of the show was the AI’d Nikkor-PC 105mm f/2.5 portrait lens which was used for all but one of the exposures above.  There’s been so much written over the last 70+ years about the 105mm Nikkor so I don’t know what I can add except to say that I picked it up because it was cheap, I wanted to have at least one portrait lens, and it had a good reputation.  I’ve used it for a few portrait sessions so far and have been extremely happy with the results, as well as that from my AI Nikkor 85mm f/2 lens (which also makes an appearance here).  I would call either of these lenses a must-have for a Nikon manual-focus system, whichever you happen to run across first.  If you can, get both.

I suppose this means that I can call myself a professional photographer, right?  I’m hoping that this can be springboard me to bigger and better things but we’ll see.