Thursday, May 03, 2007

Last Reminder Of The Miami News Photo Department

That corner building on West Dixie Highway in North Miami became Jaybo's after the Miami News shut down. Jay Spencer had been their chief of photography and decided that North Miami was a good location to open a custom lab. At the time he was right. We had a bunch of commercial photographers nearby, plus a growing motion picture industry needing publicity photos and actors needing head shots and composites.
Jay bought the building, and a couple of years later expanded by adding a partial second floor. A little house out back was rented to Mike and Penny. Mike was also a photographer. Jay offered complete black and white services as well color, both negative and transparencies. I think he was one of the first labs around to offer two hour E-6 Ektachrome processing, and that was for mounted slides. If you just wanted your roll sleeved, or were getting sheet film processed it was faster.
He gradually expanded into selling film, chemicals, paper, cameras, and studio flash equipment. It was really nice having a place half a mile away where you could pick up a 20 roll brick of Tri-X or a 500 sheet box of 8x10 Ilford Multigrade paper. Even nicer was dropping off a few rolls of Ektachrome and going across the street to Jimmies Place for lunch ,maybe killing another half an hour chatting with Carl at his shoe repair shop, then picking up the morning's shoot.
But eventually C-41 replaced C-22 color negative, scanning replaced traditional color printing and nobody shot E-6 transparency film anymore, and black and white priced itself out of the market thanks to the Hunt brothers speculation in silver futures. After the bubble in silver prices burst the nature of photography labs had changed forever.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al, I worked with Jay Spencer at the Miami News, I then went over to Miami-Dade CC, until I retired., I was wondering if Jay is still around. Bob Bailey

3:09 PM  
Blogger Al Kaplan said...

Bob, I haven't seen Jay since he closed the shop, and that was probably about twenty years ago. I don't know if he's still around or not, but he'd be closing in on 90 years old now if he was.

10:30 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home