I am constantly befuddled by people who say they don’t know what career they want to go into. This includes my kin and students.
I’ve known since I first got my hands on a camera at about age 12. I won the camera – a simple fixed lens point and shoot film camera – in a magazine-selling competition at my tiny rural school in Clements, California. Can’t remember what I first shot – but that lead to my mother signing me up for what we now call “distance learning” and what was called a correspondence course back then. (She didn’t just sign me up helter-skleter…but made sure I was taking a UC extension course.) Photography by mail.
My dad helped me build a darkroom in the basement and I was set. Every week or so I’d get some mimeographed papers explaining my assignment and giving background. I’d read, experiment, and return. Talk about self-paced – it was fun!
That camera was soon gone, replaced by a Nikormat with a teensy hole in the shutter fabric. I took many many photos with a trademark black spot on one side. But my appetite was whetted – I dreamed in black and white and smelled like a chemical bath most days. Brown fingertips and nails. Squinty eyes from too much time in the dark. Ahhhhh. And I will tell you that nothing – nothing smells like a freshly opened canister of 35mm film.
Seems like its time to think about going thru those boxes and boxes of negative and fading prints out back.
Twenty-eight years of memories from the front lines of news. Another eight in the foxholes of education. Plus lots of other stuff from a fully-lived life…now is the time to begin archiving those memories.
Let’s see where this leads…