It was September, 1963. I had just gotten my first SLR, a black body Nikon F with a 50mm f/1.4 lens. It cost me $300 and I had to borrow it from my mother. I had been taking pictures since the mid 1950s with a variety of cameras, 4×5 Speed Graphic, 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 Busch Pressman, Longines rangefinder, and others that I’ve probably forgotten, but this one was a CAMERA!
There was something very different about viewing the world directly through the lens, removing all of the distractions and being able to become a part of the scene that you were trying to photograph. My friend Fred and I were moving from taking pictures as an interesting technical hobby into photography as a means of expressing the way we felt about what we saw.
I was going to have some fantastic experiences as a result of this move. I would be working for illustration and fashion photographers, taking courses from established, well known photographers, venturing into and out of producing and shooting commercials for TV with film makers, experimenting with as many techniques as I could discover and generally having a great time with it as a full time and some times paying hobby.
A lot has happened in the quarter of a century that has elapsed since those days, not all photographic either. But now I have been taking pictures again as a result of my computer based ventures merging with digital photography, a match made in heaven. My friend Fred has been taking pictures for a while longer now and we are back to playing together again, albeit from opposite shores of the country this time, rather than from opposite sides of Kensington Avenue in Jersey City, New Jersey. Visit his work at Fred’s Daily Pictures and check out the Flickr sites where Linda and I post our stuff using the links on the right.
This picture is of my ex-nephew-in-law (I did say that a lot has happened since…) I had seen this scene while commuting one day and came back with him on a weekend to get this shot.
This was scanned from the Extachrome ASA 400 film transparency using a Nikon LS-2000 scanner. Although the slide was stored in a glass mount for most of the 26 years, it showed some signs of deterioration, some scratches and some embedded dirt. The red dyes had faded, giving the whole image a blue cast, enough so that the raincoat was almost neutral colored. The scan process was able to recover some of the color and I used curves and masks to bring as much of the yellow back into the slicker as was possible. The healing tools helped clean up the staining and dust. This will take much practice, and will hopefully become easier and better as time goes on. I am planning to post a new scan from the archive at least once a week, so there will be more to come.