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.
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).
Yesterday was the first Mother’s Day that my brother and I didn’t have our mother. Looking back on it, even though we butted heads a lot, I was able to spend a lot of time with her in the last few years and I’m grateful for that now. This would be the companion piece to my other tribute which was posted back in December. Honestly I completely forgot about Mother’s Day but I’ve never been a big fan of holidays that promote obligatory consumerism and people punish you for forgetting; I suppose I’ll never have to feel bad for not remembering from now on.
While developing all the rolls I shot in 2020 I came across a few that I’d taken of my mom, usually holding her first grandson. Thanks to my old photo instructor Stacy for letting me get all that done in the school darkroom, or I don’t know when I would have gotten around to seeing these. The entire Summer I was shooting nothing but Kodak Tri-X.
It’s incredible to me that what started off as current up-to-date posts has kept going and I’m already behind again, with the 2022 season about to take of. That’s a good problem I suppose, it means I’m not about to run out of material soon!
But shooting around 40 rolls of film for this project every year, I suppose it’s to be expected.
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.
It’s happened before, though it’s a pretty rare occurrence! I just took these shots wile driving through on my day off.
The last time I was able to take advantage of this wonderful weather was more than three years ago.
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:
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.
Back in October/November 2021 I was going through my old posts looking at all the different photos I’d taken and deciding which ones I should keep and which I should prune to make sure I don’t run out of storage space. There were entire posts that I deleted to make room for new photos; I think now that I will bring some of those pictures back. A lot of those were family pictures and I have many more since the funeral so it might keep the blog going for a bit longer. As a mini project, it hearkens back to an assignment I did in my Intermediate Photo class, and it will be good to revisit this subject.
So here are more family hangout pictures this time post-memorial with my cousin Chris and his family.
I went back to my Nikon F2A (and good thing, too). This is the first time I used Ilford HP5 (except for large format) and my first impression is that it’s sharp but also that it has some of the same characteristics of XP2 in its look, namely to contrast. I’d say that they look pretty similar to each other, and a noticeably different look from my old Kodak standbys.