Cowboys and Other Country Clichés

When I moved to Yass a year ago, I was determined to avoid photographing clichés of Australian rural life.

How naïve!

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.


Kerriann said...

I like the way you've used these guys as subjects. there's something very sexy about cowboys & farmers, isn't there? maybe it's the physicality of their work, the outdoorsy aspect of their lifestyle...they seem to ooze masculinity ;)

Kathleen said...

The first shot (of Tim and Dave) is also on The comments I'm getting are really interesting ... so far they're only from girls who have focussed on the physicality of the guys. No-one seems to have noticed the Bundy ute that I asked them to stand in front of. Looks like I need to photograph a lot more rodeos!

adminbandit said...

Bring on the rodeo shots I say!