around the net 25: my heroes have always been cowboys

Tired of the daily news? How about we turn a little retro for inspiration this week (post title inspired by the work of Robb Kendrick and courtesy of Willie Nelson).

Through photography it’s easy to return to simpler times…as in the cowboy photographs of National Geographic photographer Robb Kendrick. This NPR slide show presents a nice, brief overview as to why he is drawn to cowboys as subject matter. For a fascinating glimpse into how he actually creates these beautiful tintype photographs, these videos on National Geographic are a real treasure.

Speaking of National Geographic, have you ever wondered what it takes to develop and create a photo story for this famous magazine? A Photo Editor takes us inside the process in this aptly named post: Getting a Story Made at National Geographic.

Back to retro photo methods (and another video) for just a moment: this post on Digital Photography School shows how another modern day photographer creates his own one-of-a-kind images. His camera? A trailer pulled behind his car that has been converted into a light tight, massively oversized box camera.

I enjoy watching how these photographers work to create one (and only one) photographic original of a subject. The pieces of tin and oversized photo paper that emerge from their cameras are the sole, true originals.

While most of us aren’t likely to go to these lengths to fix an image, we can indulge our pseudo retro urges with a Holga Camera or maybe a Lensbaby on a digital camera. Surely the Lensbaby was inspired by the immortal homemade Plunger Cam created by photographer Mark Tucker. I can’t find the Plunger Cam galleries on the ‘net any longer (sorry) but Tucker is still out there creating arresting images for his clients and himself. In his blog he admits to recently re-buying his old film cameras and loving the rediscovery.

A final retro mention: is anyone interested in buying a whole bunch of darkroom equipment (accompanying photos)? We’re clearing out Daylight Photo and that includes three 4”x5” color enlargers with power supplies, timers, tons of neg carriers, over 30 Rodenstock enlarging lenses (from 50mm to 300mm), easels…if you’re interested in anything, let me know. There’s a swingin’ deal to be had if you want to take everything off of our hands.

Despite the daily news, it was a good week here at prophotolife, much accomplished and many things learned. I hope you can say the same. Let’s all get out and shoot this weekend and I‘ll see you again on Monday…

- Jim T.