First Photo

Here is a real blast from the past. This is from about 1971 or possibly 1972. My dad decided to take me on a weekend trip to Lake Janet (not sure which one) to teach me how to use his cameras. I was eight or nine years old and was breaking into my dad’s office/darkroom  to play with his photographic equipment. I’m sure he figured that he would be better off teaching me how to use the cameras rather than restrict me from them, lest they would become rubble. To be fair I used the crap out of his original Nikon F with a 50mm f/1.4 lens along with the Kodak Retina IIIc that this image was actually captured with. In fact, they did in time and with a lot of use and abuse became rubble.



Can you see the look of disgust as I ran away in the middle of his explanations telling him that I already knew how to take a picture. My dad was a very patient father, but luckily for me I wasn’t lying — I did know how to take a properly exposed and focused picture, composition would come later.

After exposing several rolls of film, and putting up with an arrogant little smart ass that I was, we went canoeing and fishing. On Sunday, after the return trip home, it came time to develop the film and make a few prints. After setting up the darkroom and chemicals and explaining everything that I needed to do he walked out of the darkroom, to my surprise, telling me that I already knew it all and that I will figure it all out. Humm, he must had enough of my smart ass for one weekend and probably was in a desperate need of a well deserved Budweiser.

As you can see my first roll of film turned out well, the print, well, not so much. I was using some fairly thick paper and found it very difficult to keep the paper in the developer due to the paper curling up, a recognizable print it was, an acceptable print it was not.

To be honest, and for how young I was, I think my first real photograph turned out quite well, and I was able to get a rare photo of my dad posing in front of the camera rather than in his more comfortable place behind the camera.

Here is a portrait flash shot of my little sister to fill out the last roll in the camera before heading off into the darkroom.

Scan-110421-0016These were most likely Kodak Tri-X 400 ISA film and developed with D-76.