Long, Long Ago... Far, Far Away...

I actually took a photography class in high school using my step dad's 35mm camera. I can't tell you what it was, Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Olympus. It was that long ago. I found some of those OLD prints. The prints that I made in the dark room at school after I wound my own film and processed it myself. I didn't always get the assignment right but somehow I managed an A. I remember how I loved all the steps, and even dreamed of having my own darkroom some day. I would hide in my parents closet to roll film into cartridges or change them out because that was the darkest place in our house. Every now and then my step father would come in and open the closet door to find my scrunched on the floor rolling film. I'm sure you can image his surprise to find me there as much as my response to the door being opened. Film was never exposed luckily because outside of a VERY dark closet was a darken room. I was just overly precarious!

I scanned a couple of these shots for the heck of it and played around in Photoshop with them. The negatives are long since gone; so I only have a handful of prints most of which are damaged by time and poor storage in extreme weather.

They are a reminder that I actually loved photography, but never followed through. Maybe theater got in the way, maybe the reality that I didn't have my own camera (which later became a sore spot in my already-sour relationship with my step father.) or maybe I didn't trust my instinct. Who knows - I was so young. The thing is, that love would sprout up in me through out the years. I have a handful of black and whites taken with an old Kodak point & shoot film camera that I took just for the "art" aspect during the time my mother was ill. And shortly after I moved to Southern California back in the late 80s I had an opportunity to take some pictures from places not normally accessible for picture taking. Unfortunately, the camera was stolen out of a friend's car. Thank goodness it wasn't expensive but the pictures were lost. I think that is when my creative vein for photography got shelved.

Here are a couple of those pictures that started it all so long ago.
Yay, for rebirth of a creative soul and for digital cameras!

I love the State Barber Shop Photo and have always been keen to it. I think it's the layers in there, the little boy waiting and watching for his hair cut, the barber busy at work and then the traffic going by and the buildings across the street. The original photo was (I believe) under exposed so very gray. I was about to pop up the contrast only a little bit here.

The Virgin Mary, I can't remember where I took this picture. but I loved her texture and nobleness (if that's a word) She was so resilient and I'm sure she is still there today. I cropped this picture to remove unwanted foliage and added a crackle texture and a second texture overlay. I also gave her a little vignette to just pop her features out a bit.

I took this picture when I was staying with my mom after her third (and final) cancer surgery. This house just reminded me of a haunted house, only people actually lived in it. I love how they had an old truck parked in front of it too. The photo, again, was a little gray, no real contrast. I decided to use an Orton type effect on it and give it a vignette around the edges to give it a mystic, eerie feel. Kinda cool. Here is a beautiful example and explanation of the Orton effect. I also used this effect with some of the pictures from my grandparents home that I posted yesterday. Here is an action for an Orton effect for Photoshop Elements users. I have only used it for quick processing in PSE3.

More later!


Christina said...

These are TOO COOL!!! Love it. Photography has woven its way through the fabric of your life. I've never gotten to develop my own film, but I would love to do so - even if it is outdated now!

Anonymous said...

I love that barber shop shot and how you even got the barber working away through the glass.

I had my own darkroom for awhile. The process of developing was fun. The process of setting up and cleaning up was not. Finding a way to get rid of all the chemicals was a pain cuz you can't just poor them down the drain.

Kat said...

Those are amazing! Looks like you had talent for photography early!

mandaroo63 said...

Those are awesome, Rose! You were and still are very talented!

d.girl said...

I remember going through those very same steps of the developing process...back in the day. How fortunate we are to have digital. But it does make you appreciate the time, effort, and love for non-digital photos. Great pics!

The UnMighty said...

Was the "State" barber shop located in communist Russia?

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