Monday, March 26, 2012

Scanned Photographs

Talk about being overwhelmed. A couple of years ago Jonathan and I went through some 4,000 photographs that I've been carting around since the photography bug bit me as a kid, and we shipped them off to ScanMyPhotos in California for scanning. The preparation process is a bit involved to get it right. I was terrified to part with the photos, even via the most secure shipment method, but the time had come to step into the brave new world, and jettison the hardcopy versions that just take up space.

These all were returned along with DVD disks which, although I've seen them all, I have yet to fully organize. But in the meantime, I had discovered still another +/- 4,000, mostly in boxes in back of closets, so buried I did not know they were there. I had suspected missing photographs as ones I took with my childhood Brownie and with my father's Speed Graphic were not among the first batch. I had sadly reconciled myself to losing them, but they were among this last batch, including a "self portrait" I took with my first camera in the hallway mirror of the first house we lived in, crossing my eyes to make a big impression. I was about 9 or 10.

There were also some photographs not scannable (those smaller than 3x3 and those in poor condition), so I digitally photographed them. Furthermore, several hundred 35mm negatives turned up, mostly B&W when I did my own developing, and they were able to be scanned by ScanMyPhotos. I've been pleased by the service, their turnaround usually in a week.

So, in total, I'm left with about 10,000 images all needing review and organizing, probably something I'll never really finish doing. But as I go along with the task, from time to time I'll post some here. That will be a idiosyncratic, eclectic mix, but that may be the only way to get some of them out "there."

I'll start with this sequence, shots of me -- I'm in my mid 40's -- attempting to stay on a windsurfer off our Norwalk Islands anchorage. I remember the incident well -- I was as successful doing that as I was water skiing. In spite of being on the water much of my life, water sports eluded me. It was embarrassing at the time, but laughable in retrospect. I made up for it in other sports, anything involving a ball. Good eye/hand coordination but lousy balance.....

Finally, a scan of my all time favorite photograph. When Jonathan was born, I was working with my Nikon F and I set up a studio in the garage. I took photographs of him in his Oshkosh jeans. My mother, who was a very good artist, did an oil painting of another picture I took seconds after this one (her signature "Grandma Penny" is on the left sleeve).