The photograph itself doesn't interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality.

~Henri Cartier Bresson

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


I guess the best intro is what I have posted at times before which is below. Guess it says it all.

Photographic Memories

The other day I was looking through a box of older photographs my mother gave me. Included was a bound packet of photographs that showed combat scenes from W.W.II, some of which my late father took, some older family photographs of my father, his brother and his mother. All of these were taken when they were of a young age.
I then opened a metal index card box which had my name and the brand of the camera which I started out using, printed on the outside of it.
When I opened it, the first thing I saw were photos of kittens that I had taken and were the first that I had published, which for a teenager was quite a thrill! Digging deeper I came across photos I had completely forgotten about in the past thirty-five years. Shots of my family and friends. Classmates engaged in school time pranks, motorcycles, cars, everything a teenage boy studied in the 60’s.
Behind an index card I came across some photos that looked even older than the ones of mine which were 30-plus years old. Once again cats, boats, scenic, shots taken from the bridge of a ship. Photos my dad had taken in his youth. I stopped and stared at them for what seemed forever. His photographs were much like mine.
Then I checked the back of the box for any others before I stashed my find away. Only one other that was face-down. Turning it over, I found myself looking into my father’s eyes. A photo I had taken in Bangor of him sitting on the hood of the family car, parked outside Dakin’s Sporting Goods where he had taken me to buy my first "real" camera.
I was about twelve at the time. I had been working odd jobs during the past couple of summers, saving all I could.
Starting another summer, my father saw that I had the potential to drive my mother batty by Labor Day if something wasn’t done,…. soon.
Dad "advised" me to withdraw my savings and accompany him to Bangor. When we arrived, he escorted me into Dakin’s Sporting Goods where they also had the area’s largest photographic department. I stood looking in awe at the wall of equipment that I had no idea what was used for!
I walked out of there with a new Yashica D, Twin Lens Reflex Camera! I didn’t have a clue as to how to even hold the thing!
That summer he taught me the "art" and science of photography. It was a rough summer. Dad being the meticulous person that he was, and I being an almost-teenager.......his methods worked.
Now, with 40-plus years of photography behind me, looking at his work alongside mine I see that we shared a vision in not only photography, but life. I have shot weddings and portraits had work printed in newspapers, magazines and have made private sales, but the photographs I have made of family and friends are the images that will always stay with me.
Again I looked at the photo of my dad before closing the box checking to see if the negative was still attached to the back of the index card. There it was. Now I know which photograph I will be printing the next time I am in the darkroom! Thanks Dad.

Since I first wrote this I have been at it a 'few' more years with a few more shots (film that is!) under my belt. Addictive, why yes it is.

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