Scorpion Cowboy: selected headshots

This is the guy (along with his wife, a good friend of my mom’s), that got me into driving jeep tours.  I’ve developed a reputation within the company as the resident photographer.  A few of our drivers are actors or would like to be, and I suppose headshots would be a good first step.

 

Some taken using the legendary Nikkor-PC 105mm f/2.5, and then I went a bit wider with the AI-Nikkor 85mm f/2.  They’re not all technically perfect as I did often refocus and sometimes didn’t quite hit it, but I’m still pretty proud of how they turned out.  Of course I used movie film to give these a certain cinematic look, and I have to say that Eastman Double-X is just stunning.  I took less formal portraits using Tri-X and it’s fun to compare the different characteristics; honestly I think Double-X will have to be my go-to black & white film for portraits.  Whether it’s the differing amount of silver in the emulsion, the fact that it’s remained virtually unchanged since Kodak introduced it in 1959, or just that it’s formulated for motion pictures instead of stills I’m not sure, but whatever it is this film just has that look and I love it.

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.

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.

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.

2021 off-season cowboys

Not only did I probably shoot more color film last year than I ever had before, I shot more C-41 in general, in fact nearly exclusively.  These are all Ilford XP2.  I think that for the photo project itself black & white works better and I’ve experimented with turning my color film grayscale as well.

Most of these guys are coworkers of mine, one or two might be passengers and even more of an authentic cowboy than any of us.

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.

Self-centered

One of the aspects my peers criticized in my photo project was that there were hardly any pictures with me in them.  I’ve kept that in mind ever more frequently this year and either taken more selfies or had someone else hold the camera for me.  Hopefully I was successful in my attempt to add a bit of my own personal je ne sais quoi to these.

Film, in order: Fuji Superia 400, Kodak Ultramax 400, Ilford XP2 Super, Kodak BW400CN (exp.2008).

On the subject of hats: an open letter to a coworker

Dear _____,

A few days ago you confronted me saying that my cowboy hat ain’t a cowboy hat or western enough because “it’s a fedora.”  And in the last 6 (almost 7) years of driving tours and fielding dumb questions by tourists, I have rarely encountered a statement so ignorant as to be downright idiotic, and certainly never one directed at me!  Just recently I’ve had several passengers at Garden of the Gods say they hoped they’d get me as their guide because they thought I really looked the part:

For point of reference, my hat is this one, a model made by Stetson, whose illustrious place in Western (and local) history you should know well: the original, the “Boss of the Plains,” was first sold in Central City, CO in 1865.  With all due respect, I regard their opinion of what constitutes a western hat higher than I do yours.  Also, absolutely every article of clothing you see me wearing in the above picture (and everything you can’t see) was made in the United States of America; I wonder if you could say the same on any given day.  There is nothing about my look that isn’t pure Americana.  Also it seems a strange time to bring it up, considering I’ve owned and worn this hat for nearly three years now.

(and this is how it looked brand new)

I don’t think I’d really care to have this argument if you weren’t over me and might have the power to make me stop wearing my favorite hat, so let’s do have this argument.  Now I suppose that when I think of the fedora and its famous wearers, topping the list would be Indiana Jones, and then perhaps Humphrey Bogart in any number of films.  Now I love a fedora because of these guys, they’re the epitome of mid-century cool.  My grandpa wore fedoras, one which I still have and wear.  I like the style, the look, and the ergonomics of it; it is familiar.  While not truly popular until the 1930s and ’40s the style itself can be found as far back as the 1880s if not earlier, and was worn by men since at least the 1890s along with similar hats like the homburg.  The fedora was worn (again by Bogart) in one of the best western films ever made, John Huston’s Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

On the right is Tim Holt wearing a pinched-front western hat.

Because of all the popular ways to crease a cowboy hat, one common style is called the pinched-front crease.  And I have numerous references to that effect:
https://horseyhooves.com/types-of-cowboy-hats/
https://www.langstons.com/resources-guide-cowboy-hats.html
https://www.rollingstone.com/product-recommendations/lifestyle/best-cowboy-hats-1196031/

It’s even a fact that cowboys back in the 1800s were wearing the pinched-front style, and there are several historical examples of this on display at the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma:

For further angles on this display I would send you here, here, and here.

You can also see historical pinched-front styles celebrated here and here.  I especially liked this pic from the late ’30s and include it below:

(probably a Kodachrome slide if I had my guess)
These are historical cowboys as they were dressing before Jack Weill of Rockmount (another Colorado connection) had created western wear as its own unique clothing style; that wouldn’t happen for nearly another decade.  So the pinched-front crease is an even older cowboy institution than either the bolo tie or the western snap shirt!

And another, a 1937 Arthur Rothstein photograph for the FSA

Anticipating a deflection to an entirely different argument, that of what the *ahem* general public will accept and expect a cowboy to look like (doubtless with eventual allusions to Walt Disney), I started off with passengers’ feedback regarding my look.  The public at large has never vocally questioned whether or not I looked enough like a cowboy, so is this perhaps your own perception rather than anyone else’s?  By that same reasoning I would expect you to take exception to the look of this particular cowboy:

“That’s a terrible cowboy name!”
Actually I could give you an entire gallery here but a simple google image search for “John Wayne hat” will suffice.  Or look here, here, and here.  Hell, Stetson even has a line of hats now that they call the John Wayne collection, all with pinched-front creases, because I guess he really liked the style!  And if The Duke isn’t enough of a cowboy for you or the perceived public you hide behind, here are other movie cowboys wearing the same style in these articles from True West Magazine: Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn, Wayne (again), Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday, the Lone Ranger, and Roy Rogers.  I can’t tell you how much sleep I lost researching this and putting it together; honestly I regret the necessity of it, but there it is.