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


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.

Ty O'Neil
Ty O'Neil
Ty O’Neil is a lifelong student of anthropology with two degrees in the arts. He is far more at home in the tear gas filled streets of war torn countries than he is relaxing at home. He has found a place at This Is Reno as a photojournalist. He hopes to someday be a conflict photojournalist covering wars and natural disasters abroad.




PHOTOS: Champs crowned on final night of 2022 Reno Rodeo

The 2022 Reno Rodeo on Saturday night closed out its 11-day run with all of the action of previous nights, plus awards for this year's rodeo champions.