Pawhuska is a small town in rural Oklahoma with about 3,500 residents. The town saw its heyday over 100 years ago when there was an oil boom—people and money poured into the area, and for a short time Pawhuska was bustling; however, the Great Depression left a large permanent scar, and the town never recovered. Over the last five years Pawhuska has seen new life, thanks to “The Pioneer Woman” who has turned this quaint town into a tourist destination of sorts. People come from all over the country—maybe the world—to visit The Mercantile, my wife and I included!
In 2018 I passed through Oklahoma while on an epic family road trip, and we stopped in Pawhuska to visit The Mercantile. I had just created the Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipe and was shooting it on a Fujifilm X-Pro2. The Kodachrome II recipe is intended to mimic the “second era” of Kodachrome film, which was from 1961 through 1973. I feel the recipe delivers a vintage-Kodak-slide aesthetic that’s very easy to love. The second episode of SOOC was about this specific recipe, so check that out if you haven’t watched it.
Just a couple of weeks ago, on another epic family road trip, we passed through Pawhuska again. This time I used my Kodachrome 64 recipe, which is based on the “third era” of Kodachrome film, which was from 1974 through 2009. The Kodachrome 64 recipe also produces a vintage-Kodak-slide aesthetic, but it definitely looks different than the Kodachrome II recipe. I used a Fujifilm X-E4 on this visit, and I didn’t capture nearly as many frames of Kodachrome 64 as I did of Kodachrome II on the previous trip.
“You’ve got to go back to get the good ones,” photographer Chuck Abbott stated in the September 1955 issue of Arizona Highways magazine. His point was that good photographers return to a location or subject over and over. Don’t be satisfied with the pictures that you’ve captured in the past; try instead at a different time of day, in a different season, under different light, and from a different angle. Maybe you’ll make a more compelling picture on a future endeavor. I don’t know that I did any better the second time than I did the first, but I did go back, and I do like a few of the frames.