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.

2021 off-season cowboys (color)

Back when color film was plentiful and I was shooting it with wild abandon.  Now we’re all hoarding it like it’s going away…

Honestly I think I shot more color film in 2021 than I ever have!  It just seemed a good time for it.

The end of FujiFILM?

I used to love Fujifilm, and during my early years as a photographer I was shooting Fujicolor 200, Superia 400, and Velvia 100 if I shot color at all.  But if the rumor mill is correct, Fuji might not be making any more film, ever.  We’ve all known that Acros II was being manufactured by Ilford and I’ve read recent news that Fujicolor 200’s new data sheet is eerily similar to Kodak Gold 200’s, inviting speculation that it is now just rebranded Kodak film.  Fuji shut down their film production plant in 2020 during the start of COVID-19 and it’s anybody’s guess whether it will ever reopen.  Knowing how Fuji has continuously axed one film after another over the last decade I think that it’s entirely possible that Fuji’s brilliant colors have finally faded.

Why I loved Fuji Superia
Why I loved Fuji Velvia & Provia

Reading Jim Grey’s tribute to his favorite film made me want to do the same but the fact is that I haven’t shot it much since those two posts above.  And I don’t think I’m going to continue to support a company that stopped supporting me a long time ago.  Unless something radically changes at Fuji with regards to their attitude toward their photographic film business it will be Kodak for me, thank you.

Scrub Oak

A camera test to determine if my new thrift store find had any light leaks or other problems.  Thankfully I’m problem-free aside from a few mechanical oddities and those I can live with for a while.  A 100-roll box of expired Fuji Superia 400 appeared in the photo lab last semester, evidently free, so that’s what I used rather than waste my own film (12 exposure rolls, so I wouldn’t call it cost-effective to process C-41).  Processed in Sprint Chemistry and I used the times for Tri-X; it fogged quite a lot but seems to look alright in scanning.

I see this stand of scrub oak nearly day I’m on campus because it’s right out the window of Columbine Hall (where the photo lab is).  I’ve photographed it at least twice before, here and here, plus it can be seen in the back of these shots as well.

Starr Kempf

I don’t have the full story on Starr Kempf, but he was a sculptor who lived in Colorado Springs.  I think I was told that he was a professor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS), where I currently go.  He made a number of kinetic sculptures (they move with the wind) and originally they were all displayed in his front yard.  The story I heard is that the neighbors weren’t too happy about them or the publicity that they were getting (Kempf’s house is very close to the Broadmoor Hotel), and many of them were removed, either to New Mexico, downtown Colorado Springs, or as depicted below, to a newer section of the university.  I shot them with the pinhole lens on my dedicated pinhole Spotmatic.

Here’s one that I shot with the Trip 35 on Acros.  This was Spring of 2018, the first semester in the brand new “Ent Center for the Arts.”


Acros 100 in the Trip 35

And here are the remaining few on Kempf’s front lawn.


Velvia 100 on the Canon AE-1

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