This is one of my favorite images, partly because of the history behind it and partly because of its beauty.
Eugene Fernandez is one of the last remaining members of the Fernandez family of Brownsville. As Eugene tells it, his family used to run guns between Mexico and the Confederate Army during the Civil war.
I shot this photograph on the back porch of their old family home in Brownsville, (I will be featuring this home in one of my Historic Brownville buildings project, so keep following here to see it.)
The Suit Eugene is wearing was worn by Errol Flynn in one of his movies, at least according to Eugene . It really ads to the realism of the photograph.
I captured this image several years ago, before I had converted to digital. It was done with a 4X5 Sinar P2 film camera. I used Kodak 4X5 Tmax film. Since the porch was quite high I had to extend my Gitzo tripod to its maximum height and and then climb up on a step ladder. It was a lot of work but who ever said creating a fine photograph would be easy? I scanned the negative on my Flextight 848 scanner and did all the finishing work in Photoshop.
Eugene is a fantastic person. The whole time we were working he was regailing me with stories about early Brownsville, and his family’s history (despite the the hellish 97 degree temperatures with a humidity of 80%). As is common for this area, Eugene never complained once. He was really there reliving a part of early Brownsville’s history. I, on the other hand, being an old Yankee, was not immune to the sweltering heat and somewhat suffered through the entire shoot.