June is a hot month in Austin. The Chevy Camaro has always been a hot car in my book. Therefore, it seemed fitting to put the cow named Cowmaro into my CowParade Austin 2012 Calendar in one of the hot summer months.
The artist who did Cowmaro is Dale Whistler, and you can visit his web site to see many examples of his art – many of which are virtually iconic to those of us who live here in Austin. You can watch a short YouTube video of Dale, where he is interviewed about his past and some of his objects of art.
Dale was sponsored by the Central Texas Chevy Dealers to make Cowmaro.
Cowmaro was on display out on the front “lawn” at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, with 3 other cows. I say “lawn”, because when we arrived at the Bob Bullock museum on August 20th, central Texas was still very much in the clutches of the hottest summer ever on record here in Austin. The drought was severe, and water rationing was being practiced by everyone in the Austin area.
We arrived a little before 11:30 AM, and it was already blazing hot. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. This is just about the worst possible condition to photograph anything outdoors – especially an art object. The ONLY thing that I could do was to put a polarizer on my lens and pray. Even so, you can tell by the shadow at the top of this photo just how hard the direct sunlight was….
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The left side of Cowmaro had the image of the front of a Chevy Camaro painted on it, while the right side of Cowmaro had the view of the rear of the car on it. It was as if the car was somehow stuck inside of the cow!
Now I personally never owned a Chevy Camaro, but I always liked the look of one – they usually stop me in my tracks and I have no choice but to stare and wonder what fun it must be to drive one! Later on, (much later on – 1996), I owned a 1994 Chevy Corvette. It was the most trouble-free car that I have ever owned, and I’ve had lots of Toyotas and Hondas. I had that Corvette for nearly 3 years, and only put 11,000 miles on it…. although I would occassionally drive it hard, most if the time I babied it.
If you don’t remember the Chevy Camaro, here is one that I took a photo of in October 2010 at the Rolling Sculpture Car Show in Bee Cave, TX. I would guess that this is a 1968 Camaro SS.
You can see my favorite 100 cars at that show my going to my “Photo Gallery” button under the banner at the top of this page, and selecting the sub-menu for that car show.
OK, let’s get back to Cowmaro! I moved around to the opposite side, and of course, it was the shady side of the cow. To prevent my photograph from ending up as a silhouette, I put an external flash (Canon 580EX II) on top of my camera (Canon 5D Mark II), set it for TTL mode, with a flash compensation of -1 stop, and fired off these next two photos.
This is not particularly “artistic” photography, but not too shabby of a “journalistic” type of photography. But hey, that’s all we were trying to do anyway.
As an attempt to do something “artsy” while we were there, I composed this photo of Cowmaro on the burnt-up lawn, positioned over the cow named Mazy Moo that was done by Susi Alcantara.
(You can see all 72 of the CowParade Austin cows by clicking on the “Photo Gallery” button and choosing the CowParade sub-menu.)
As it turned out, we needed to return to the Bob Bullock Museum on Sept.17, as they had added a new cow (Once in a Blue Moo by Lewis Signs), and we needed to photograph it. This time, the lighting was much better, as it was a very hazy, overcast day. Still no rain to help the drought situation, but the overcast sky helped keep the temperature down below 100 degrees, and it was MUCH better light to be photographing painted cows with!
Even though it was almost exactly the same time of day as our previous visit (this time it was 11:13 AM), I did not need to use a Fill Flash on the “shady side” of the cow.
And finally, here is the shot that I liked the best, and so this is the one that I ended up putting on my CowParade Austin 2012 Calendar, for the month of June.
The overcast sky even made the shiny metal plaque look better!
One thought on “CowParade Austin Calendar – June – Cowmaro”
The Cowmaro is just way cool. I so envy inspired artists. I did own a 1996 Camaro convertible. Surprisingly, it was one of the best gas mileage cars I ever had. My favorite car though was a 1967 Pontiac Firebird, white with red interior. Sadly, the car was about 7 years old when I got it and I beat it into the ground. Done with the fancy cars for the most part now and I just stick to my trucks. I still like to look though 😉
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