When I moved to Yass a year ago, I was determined to avoid photographing clichés of Australian rural life.
While I’ve definitely captured other sides of country living, pictures of “cowboys” — gritty, sweaty and masculine — are inescapable.
At the concurrent Yass Rodeo and Yass Ute Muster on 10 November, I used my trusty Pentax K1000 to photograph Tim Davaris (left) and Dave Willersdorf (right) in Wrangler jeans and felt hats alongside a Bundaberg Rum-themed ute. It’s not their vehicle, but the brand sponsored both events and the boys were sipping the said brew, so it seemed a fitting backdrop.
A bull rider gives his leather glove tooth in the second image, chafing it against the “bull rope” — the rope that wraps around the bull’s body — for a better grip during his upcoming ride. Appropriately, and I’m sure co-incidentally, he does so with a pen of bulls watching.
So it seems I’m learning that country clichés actually do accurately reflect some parts of life in Yass. In fact, judging by the pink plaid shirt and toy Sheriff’s badge I donned for the day, I might even be embracing them!
As an aside, I’ve started using Fujicolor Superior X-TRA ISO 400. I can buy four rolls of this cheap colour film at my local supermarket for the price of one professional colour roll at a camera store (my nearest one is an hour away). I’m pleasantly surprised by the punchy, saturated results.