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PHOTOS: Reno Rodeo’s 100th Year Captured on 100-Year-Old Equipment

By Ty O'Neil

With the Reno Rodeo highlighting its 100th year I, as a photojournalist, wanted to capture the celebration of a century of rodeos. Inspired by the historic images of the Reno Rodeo, I set about trying to find a way of seeing our modern Rodeo through the lens of history.

Photoshop, of course, has the capability of making modern images appear old, but I found this unauthentic and laborious. Modern lenses are incredible works of engineering allowing for stunning sharpness in images, which is fantastic, but visually distant from my historic ideals.

I then turned to my small collection of early 1900s cameras. What if I could find film for them and shoot with them? After much research I found this to be impossible or ludicrously expensive. No, what was needed was some combination of modern digital cameras and early 1900s equipment.

After a great deal of experimentation, I came to a working solution: A 1931 Kodak Rainbow Hawkeye vest pocket lens on a modern Canon DSLR. All of these images were captured using this lens. They had minor editing to color match historic images from the 1930s.

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