Rusty DeWees is undoubtedly northern New England's best-known actor-comedian. In addition to receiving acclaim for his film and television work, his Logger character packs out audiences across the region. Look for The Logger's Calendar Shoot on Rusty's first comedy DVD; I made the short documentary about taking calendar photos. We've worked together on photography for nearly twenty years, and have been friends for about forty. Here are some favorite images.
"Golddiggers Beware" CD Cover. 2003
Rusty asked me to spend a day with him and his band, The Fellers, in the recording studio. We did this cover shot during a break in the action. Hasselblad, 150mm lens, rim light rear left (snooted studio flash head), second head in Chimera medium-small soft box front right.
I've photographed Rusty professionally since this first shoot in 1992 when Rusty needed acting headshots. This photo was taken next to a barn in Elmore in naturally flat light. We shot two rolls of 35mm T Max 400 at a couple of locations. Nikon F3 with Tamron 80-200 f/2.8 SP lens.
Percy's Garage Calendar Shot. 2000
Rusty started production of calendars in 2000. Typically, we'd shoot a medium format cover shot which, later composited, would show Rusty as The Logger and Rusty as Uncle Furman. Hasselblad with 80mm lens, Fuji Provia 100.
Shovelin' Snow. 2009
Rusty's sense of humor led him to produce fun calendar illustrations. We photographed this evening outside the Middlesex Country Store at the end of a snowstorm. Rusty heaved shovel-fulls of snow upwards and I'd capture them crashing on his head. Nikon D200 digital capture, 12-24mm Nikor lens, snooted single SB-800 speedlight on Rusty.
Tight Headshot. 2006
During a book cover shoot on location in Rusty's "great room," he asked if I could emulate a photo of a certain famous actor/director. I came in tight with a long lens, lighting with a single softbox high in front and a bit of umbrella spill from the right rear. The late Pete Hartt, a good friend of Rusty's, later saw the photo and made the connection without being prompted... way to go, Clint. Nikon D200 with 80-200 f/2.8 lens.
On Stage at Chandler Music Hall, Randolph. 2005
Rusty is best known for his physical, comedic stage work as The Logger, his alter ego. Shows are a mix of original comedy, local talent, and down-home music. This Chandler performance was filmed for his DVD presentation, The Logger #3 – A Comedy Dividee.
On Set, Morrisville. 2005
Dad’s Tractor is a bonus feature on Rusty’s third DVD. In it, he rides his dad’s garden tractor from home down the Elmore Mountain Road, through Morrisville, and on to the mechanic for repairs – a distance of some seven miles. Along the way he meets all sorts of folks and entertains us in his inimitable style. In the photo, the box is a sign for his homeward hitchhike.
One Day With Rusty 9/16/09: Morning Workout, Stowe.
I’d been wanting to photograph Rusty outside of our usual assignments, just follow him around during a typical day. One Day with Rusty was born, and on the morning of September 16th, I arrived at his home in Elmore to begin. First stop was his daily workout, two hours in all, where he catches up on the newspapers while doing cardio.
One Day With Rusty 9/16/09: Visiting Aunt Laura, Berlin.
Rusty’s dad, Bill DeWees, spent his last years in this nursing home. Soon after his passing, Bill's sister Laura took up residence there. She sounded clear in her Philadelphia accent, for someone of 99, but it didn’t take long to realize that she had lost most of her lifelong memories. Because of Rusty’s long-suffering and humor, however, the visit was anything but sad. When Laura would fail, Rusty would patiently repeat, prompt, or encourage her to find her words; then do it again. I recorded audio of their conversation, capturing the following humorous interchange. Laura, not remembering Rusty: “You’re worth knowing just for laughs.” Rusty, chuckling: “That’s what I’m betting on.”
One Day With Rusty 9/16/09: Guitar Practice, Elmore.
This is Rusty’s great room, a place of office work, entertainment, and music rehearsal. Fellow band members Peter Wilder and Don Commo were expected this evening to practice numbers for The Logger’s Holiday Variety Show. Until then, it would be quiet strains of Hank Williams’ Mind Your Own Business, solo, to fill the room and drift past Rusty’s indoor outhouse.
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