The story so far.
As I wrote yesterday I always carried a camera. Today, I do the same thing but usually it’s the camera in my phone that I use. Phones have finally developed to the point where they are capable of making “professional” images.
But, that’s not what this story is about. It’s about my past. The start of me as a photographer and my almost legendary archives.
So, with out further ado, and just like yesterday, here are the pictures withe captions at the very bottom.
When I attended Ohio University in pursuit of a masters degree, a friend of mine and I used to work on the weekends shooting either a class assignment or just looking for an interesting picture. We found an old train yard where cars and engines were being rebuilt. Then, we found these guys actually working on an old steam engine. They wanted to pose so I made this frame.
For the life of me I don’t remember why, when, or where I took this picture. I thought I could Google and find Occident. Oh no. Occident is an old word meaning all purpose flour. There are Occident mills all over the country. None of them look like this.
Batman and bootman.
Lower top right.
Amtrak train stopping at the station. This is in the same location as the mill.
Middle top left.
A ruinous house is located — you guessed it — down the road from the granary and the train station.. What was I thinking? Three pretty good pictures and I have no idea where they were made.
Clothes on the line drying.
Dogs on a porch.
Middle of the page.
The old tire swing where kids played and real memories were made.
Clothes line, complete with a child’s tricycle.
Full page middle.
This, as technically bad as it is, is an important picture. The woman looking into the camera’s lens is the bride and a classmate that I met in the pursuit of masters number two.
I group of us drove to Pensacola, Florida to attend her wedding on the Navy base there. Pensacola NAS is a flight training school and the home of the Blue Angels. Geronimo was also imprisoned there.
When we arrived at the reception hall I noticed a guy in a baggy suit wandering around setting up pictures and using an old Rolli camera and a potato-masher flash, which was ancient when I started out.
The bride walked over to us, hugged us all and came back to me. She said that the photographer wasn’t taking the pictures the way she hoped and could I take a few. I had a Leica body with one lens over my shoulder and about four or five rolls of film in my pocket, so I said of course. I exposed about four rolls of film and hoped for the best.
I really like this picture. There’s the bride smiling and waiving at me in the midst of all the chaos throughout the picture. If I ever did anything with the picture I’d use the original negative and hire a master printer who works in an old school wet darkroom because technically this picture is beyond my skills.
My kind of selfie. I’m not in the picture but everything on the road is. A car in front of me, a truck behind me with the desert outside.
A few page notes.
I have the sense that many of these pictures were made at the same time, almost in the same place. The guys at the engine, the flour mill, all the train related pictures and even the tire swing were all taken on one Sunday in 1983. If that’s true I had a great shooting day. But, in a way, I hope it isn’t.
After all, who wants a career in a day?