Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Very First Time ~ In 1962

A lot of you have been following my self-portrait project that I started a couple of years ago when I purchased an ultra-wide angle 15mm lens. I'm always going around taking photographs of the places I go and the people I'm with, and I'm also in the photograph myself. Recently I've started shooting some color, although the bulk of the project has been shot in black and white and I'm planning on switching back to black and white.

Well, a couple of weekends ago Dawn was over here trying to get my house to look like it wasn't inhabited by a guy who has a penchant for throwing nothing out and has been living here alone for four or five years. She took it upon herself to attempt making mayhem out of madness, going through piles and bookcases and boxes not looked at in years. She found some of my mom's photo albums proving that Monkey was already missing his nose about the time that I was first learning to walk and she found some early photographs that I had taken when I first got interested in photography.

This one is interesting. Converse Photo Supply in New Bedford, Massachusettes had gotten in some of the first Olympus Pen cameras and I was fascinated by the tiny thing, about the size of a pack of king-size cigarettes. It took 72 pictures on a 36 exposure roll, an important factor on my student budget. The savings on film alone would cover the cost of the camera (about $20.00) in a couple of months. It had four shutter speeds from 1/25 to 1/200 of a second plus B and a 28mm f/3.5 lens. I couldn't resist!

I mostly shot black and white and developed my own, but it was late October and the leaves were turning shades of orange and yellow and red. I splurged and bought a 20 exposure roll of Kodachrome, blowing my film budget for the month between the film and the processing. I headed up to Buttonwood Park. I have no idea what moved me to think about trying to photograph myself but I exposed a few frames, holding the camera at arm's length in one hand. I really liked this shot and had a number of small prints made up, blowing my film budget for another month or so, but the girls all loved the photo. Gotta keep 'em happy!

So Dawn was busy going through all of those old photos and let out an excited "Oh my God! Is this YOU?" I have no idea where the slide is but she'd found one of those slightly faded forty-four year old prints. We talked about how strange it was that I'd done essentially the same thing all those many years ago as I do now, yet for perhaps forty-two years never even thought about pointing the camera back at myself. I'd even forgotten about the old picture.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that you as a youngin', Al?

Anyway, I read that Monkey fondled a Leica M8 the other day. Please tell Monkey about photopoo's M8 Skinny. It's a cut and paste job about the M8's greatest strengths presented by the great Leica shills. See here:

7:45 PM  

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