Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Blast from the Past

First Selfy, 1/1976

Folks, this is me 37 years ago!

Last year my son gave me a good quality negative and slide scanner for Christmas, and I so enjoy finding a little time to scan some of my old negatives and slides. This is from a roll of film I shot in response to one of my first assignments in my first photography class, begun in January 1976. The assignment was to shoot a roll of self-portraits.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that I am holding (and using, of course) a Nikonos II underwater camera. That is the first 35mm professional quality camera I owned, the reason being it was actually scuba diving that pointed me toward journalism and photography.

I had learned to scuba dive and made my first trip to the Caribbean, and I wanted to be able to show my family and friends who would never see it first hand what a coral reef was like. That is the quintessential journalistic problem: How to show/reveal/communicate a reality/issue/event to people who cannot experience it firsthand.

That's how I got into photography and story telling, and, as the saying goes, the rest is history.

And BTW, the Nikonos II underwater camera was the only professional 35mm camera I owned for some time. It is a viewfinder camera with no built in light meter. In other words, it had none of the aids to focusing and choosing aperture and shutter settings that even analog SLR cameras provided, much less today's electronic cameras. In retrospect, I'm pretty proud of the quality photographs I was able to make with this camera.

I still have it! And I'll use it again if I can ever find a strobe for it....


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