The Amazing and in-depth Summer Hat Photographic Inventory. Complete with "Super" model and "Mega" influencer "Mr. K"...

Ah. The hat inventory. These are just the Summer hats. We don't have enough bandwidth for the Winter hats as well. That will come later. Much later. I keep a collection of hats for a couple of reasons. First off, I carry an extra, inexpensive bucket hat with me when I walk around downtown in the Summer. Sometimes I come across someone working in the sun or walking somewhere without a hat. I offer them the extra one. Secondly, I get bored wearing the same hat every day. An added bonus is that most of these are machine washable so I can toss them in the laundry when they get dirty and know I have lots left to choose from.

I woke up this morning with the idea of doing a silly self-assigned photo essay of me and my hats. I set up a Leica SL2 on a tripod, put a flash trigger on top and then set up a 60 inch octabox with no front diffusion panel. I wanted big but contrasty light. I fired up Leica Fotos, the iPhone app and photographed myself after previewing each set up on my phone. I used the 24-90mm Vario Elmarit lens set to 75mm and got busy. 

The hat above is "lavender" colored and is one of my favorites because it's so lightweight and foldable. I rescued it from the trash at the pool. It looked brand new until I got my hands on it. 

Here's a hat I wear every morning. It's bright yellow. It's my swim cap.
It keeps the chlorine from constantly flowing past my hair. 
It is my secret for keeping my hair absolutely perfect at all times.

I actually hate this hat but I keep it around for all those times when one's hat might
not make it through a project. Like painting the fence. Or bleaching black mold off 
rock walls. Everyone needs one protective "crash" hat. 

A cheap Tilley imitation. Reminds me constantly why I don't have a Tilley hat. 
Or a Billingham camera bag. Or a Jaguar. 

My dad came from a small town in Pennsylvania. He did his undergraduate work at 
Indiana University of Pennsylvania before heading off to Washington University in
St. Louis. When he passed away I ended up with all his alumni swag.
I have a matching t-shirt as well. 

Without a doubt. This lightweight treasure from REI is my favorite bucket hat.
It's very crushable and is a perfect all-arounder. 

Finally. When you are out and about you'll need a dressy Summer hat. 
This one works for that. And at this point the "super" model was getting antsy
and ready to call it a day. Freakin' prima donna.

Got a hat? No? Get a hat.
Even if you have to settle for a Tilley hat.



Dick Barbour said...

ROFL! Hat or no hat, I think the heat's getting to you, Kirk.

Kirk, Photographer/Writer said...


Anonymous said...

Those are some nice hats…and some not so nice ones. At least there were none of the maga variety. That asshat has ruined the colour red for me. See what I did there?

Jim /granitix /Longviewer said...

Too many smiles in your portfolio for a modern model. The indifferent scowl at something in the distance, that's what sells. Apparently..?

BAEZTRO said...

Mr. K, as Mega influencer you forgot the affiliated links.
BTW: I need a hat, ordered the biggest one from Amazon but it's a little tight.. My head is too big. :/

John Krumm said...

I actually bought one of your bucket hats when you posted about it a couple years ago. Immediately cut off the cord because I didn't like it. But my wife recently bought a used Miata convertible and I think about how that cord would come in handy instead of me pulling down the hat so hard on my head.

Joel Bartlett said...

You need to post up a 4x4 array of them. Implied as either an homage to Cindy Sherman's "Untitled Film Stills" or to Bernd and Hilla Becher's multiple images of disappearing industrial architecture.

Hugh said...

No Stetson?

Robert Roaldi said...

With the recent heat waves, I wonder how many people are discovering what their hat size is, or even that they have such a thing. I bet it never occurred to a lot of folks to measure their heads till they had to order a hat online.

David said...

These pictures deserve to be in a show at a local gallery. Much fun!

SW Rick said...

One scary dude!

FasterThanEver said...

So many selfies! how modern, Kirk!

Dogman said...

That hat you hate. The one with the vented crown. Got one of those. A genuine Tilley. Thought it was stupid to pay that much for a cloth hat but I did anyway. Wore it as a "nice hat" for a few years but decided I wanted to see how much abuse it could take. By then I had a second Tilley anyway. Started wearing it to do the yardwork--mowing, landscaping, trimming, etc. Stepped on it a few times, snagged it on branches and rose bushes. Kept going. It's about as hot in Louisiana as it is in central Texas with humidity to match. I sweat a lot. Hat turned brown, dripped with salty human sweat. Tossed it in the sink every now and then and washed it out. Kept on using it. I got old. Got arthritis and a spine disease that comes with age. Can't do the yardwork any more so I pay some guys to do it. Washed the hat one last time and it still looks like it did the day I bought it.

That expensive Tilley was cheap in the end. I still wear it when I need a "nice hat". 'Cause it's still nice.

Anonymous said...

An amazing "tongue in cheek" collection of unusual and semi-dystopian "portraits." One thinks you might want to seek out some happier hats going forward.

Unknown said...

Those photos belong in your dermatologists office on a wall with the
warning "wear a hat or this guy will get you"
nice collections of hats- thank goodness- no baseball or trucker hats.

Kirk, Photographer/Writer said...

"So many selfies! how modern, Kirk!"

I was the cheapest and most available model around on that morning. Also, I knew the hats would fit.

And....I'm really taking my aspirational career as an "influencer" so much more seriously. With a role model like Kim Kardashian how could I not?

Anonymous said...

Absolutely phenomenal post. Fantastic sense of humour.

Kirk, Photographer/Writer said...

I tried a Tilley hat for a week. All my hair starting falling out. I got a rash. No one would allow me in their restaurants. Small children would see me in the street with my Tilley hat and a camera and run crying to their mothers. Who also looked askance at my Tilley hat, grabbed their sobbing children and run away. My wife of 37 years threatened to leave me if I wore the hat in public when she was around....

When I switched to the conventional bucket hat, as shown up above, my hair grew back. I won the lottery. Those same moms with sobbing children? They started making me cupcakes and their children are joyful when I walk by them.

Everyone's experience with hats follows its own path. I wish all the Tilley wearers peace and happiness. One hundred bucks for an ugly cotton hat? Without even a red, round logo on it? Blasphemy.

Anonymous said...

Tilley Hat. The Leica of recreational hats.

bikenerd said...

I have a friend who wears a Tilley hat. He's had the same one the entire 35+ years I've known him, which says plenty about the hat and the man. That means he got the hat when he was...30? In it he looks like every other Tilley wearer: old, and curmudgeonly.

ASW said...

"Tilley Hat. The Leica of recreational hats."

You pay a premium for a Tilley hat because it's well made and the company believes in the product they sell. Or, if you get it on sale like I did 20 years ago you get it for less than what you'll pay for a synthetic nylon bucket hat from REI. The difference is if you are able to wear out your Tilley hat they replace it.

I've read on this very blog that you pay a premium for a Leica for similar reasons. If Kirk wears out his SL or SL2 will they replace it for him?

M. U. Evans said...

Excellent! Well, at least one good smile in the series.

Anonymous said...

The battle cry of the Tilley hat brigade: "You damn kids get off my lawn."

Followed by: "I don't care what people think."