Elmer McCurdy and Bill Doolin were outlaws back around the time Oklahoma statehood. Elmer became somewhat famous AFTER he died and was actually involved in the filming of an episode of the “Six Million Dollar Man” in the 1970’s. Doolin was famous as a member of the Dalton gang. They are buried side-by-side in the Boot Hill section of a cemetery in Guthrie. I was working mapping a dual sport route through rural Logan county and stopped by these graves to mark the spot, and shot this photo with my Toyo VX-125 film camera. The scene was backlit so I exposed for the gravestones. For more information on the two outlaws click the links above.
I live close to historic turn-of-the-century Guthrie and often shoot photos there for various assignments. Today I was there after a recent rain (it has been raining for the entire month of May it seems!) Oklahoma Avenue is the “main street” of Guthrie and today there was nobody around. I parked across from the famed Pollard Theatre, set up my Toyo 45A, shifted my front lens as high as it would go, and got this photo. Seldom do I see the Pollard without cars in front of it. My wife Kay and I enjoy attending live performance plays at the Pollard and it is a great place to see artists at work. It looked like they were doing a little renovation inside in between plays.
My wife Kay and I decided at the last minute to get out of the house and drive to Guthrie for the evening. My friend Gary Miller posted on Facebook that he was at a car show, so that looked like something fun and close by to attend. It was just an evening to hang out with my wife, stroll around and listen to some music, and head back home after dark. I don’t always carry a camera with me, often just shooting with my iPhone, but this night I wanted to bring something small, light weight, easy to carry, and a device that wouldn’t detract from my evening with Kay. At first I started to grab my Nikon FM3 film camera and some black and white film, but I figured it was going to be dark soon and film just doesn’t have the high ISO I can get with digital. So instead I grabbed my favorite camera of all time, my Nikon Df mounted with a 50 mm F1.8 – a very inexpensive by high quality lens.
I started a project this year called “Me and a 50” where I carry just a 50 mm lens and shoot only with it. Why? A few reasons. First off I wanted to force myself to work with what I have on me and learn to shoot more with a single mid-range lens. I think it is good training to learn to just use what I have on me and make the most of it. Second, I want to travel light weight. The less weight I carry, the more cool places I can go. A Nikon Df with a 50mm lens is pretty darn small for a DSLR – not as small as a mirrorless camera, but pretty close. No flash, no zoom, no tripod, no camera bag. Just throw a camera and tiny lens around my neck and see what I can get. Third, I want to show other photographers what is possible with a very simple, inexpensive kit. I have my Nikon FM3 rigged out with a very low cost 50 mm lens that is still a very hiqh quality lens. My Df is not exactly inexpensive, but I like it. I just throw on the 50 mm F1.8 kit lens that came with the camera and that you can buy new for a couple hundred bucks.
So here are a couple of shots I got from the night, just walking around with my wife. I didn’t snap away since I didn’t want to distract from the time spent with my wife. But I couldn’t resist this beautiful sunset so she had to wait 5 minutes while I worked this awesome light before it disappeared.
My first entries into “Me and a 50”.
Guthrie is close to home and a place my wife Kay and I enjoy visiting. It is the one time capitol of Oklahoma and is undergoing a renaissance in the past 5 years or so. Susan Miller wrote a wonderful story about this youth movement and I had the opportunity of photographing the story.
Below is a slideshow with outtakes from this assignment.