What’s in a Picture?

Here is a great film memory: me in my darkroom at The Ada News in about 1993.

This is the photo of today's discussion. I love how an image like this car preserve so much history. And before you ask me why I am not smiling, I will go with my father's answer, "I AM smiling!"
This is the photo of today’s discussion. I love how an image like this car preserve so much history. And before you ask me why I am not smiling, I will go with my father’s answer, “I AM smiling!”

I got to looking closely at this image and my photos on the walls at the time, and I realized I know a bunch of these people. Carey Johnson, Stephanie West, that Romanian baby, Denise Kreuger, those models we hired in Chicago, Darlene from college, Scott Andersen x3, that clown we photographed at the State Fair, Debbie Mociolek, Trish Jordan, Anne Roberts, Billie Floyd, Starla from Vanoss, David and Brenda Wheelock, Robert Cote, Michael Zeiler.

I remember those enlargers, that blue LowePro camera bag, the trays in the sink, the chemistry on the shelves, that shirt, slacks, belt, shoes. Everything.

In 1990, our newspaper got the equipment needed to make color separations in-house, so we bought me a Fujimoto enlarger, visible to my right. It was compact and very full-featured, with a color head. The baseboard had a timer built in, along with a sensor and three knobs on the baseboard, cyan, magenta, and yellow, to balance color.

On the far right of the image, there are free/complimentary Fujifilm towels with metal clips, on the light switches. Those towels were a gift if you bought a certain number of rolls of Fujifilm 35mm film.

The “Nursery Viewing Hours” sign was a gift from the old Valley View Hospital on Arlington, which I spotted and asked for while I made photos of the place to go with a story about tearing it down.

Just as a quick aside, it actually does say, “Nursery Viewing Hours 2:15 pm to 3:15 pm, and 7:15 pm to 8:15 pm.” How much have the rules changed on hospital visitation in my lifetime?

It’s also worth noting that my stepdaughter Dawna “Chele” Milligan was born in that maternity ward.

At least one frame on the wall was one I made from inside a hot air balloon over Ada, that people thought looked like an architectural drawing except for the oil spots a the parking lot.

There is a frame of the Vanoss Lady Wolves celebrating the 1992 State Championship in basketball.

There is a frame of some power lines at sunset, just north of Ken Lance on old highway 3, a photo that editors hated but readers, and contest, loved.

There are photos from my 1990 hiking trip to Mount Evans Wilderness and the 1985 trip to the east coast.

There is a card on the face of the police scanner to hide the display so it wouldn’t fog film or paper. I had installed yellow bulbs in the built-in safelights in the overhang so they would be “extra” safe and not get as hot. The built-in safelights were not just a luxury, but something I never saw in any other darkroom.

And here is a piece of trivia my readers might not have known, but photographers do: black-and-white darkroom safelights are not usually red, but amber. Kodak called those filters “Safelight filter, OC light amber.”

There are red filters, and even green ones, for various specialty uses, but I never used them, and if you see a darkroom in fiction, like in movies or television, they usually get that wrong.

This is the Science Hall at East Central University in Ada, which was brand new on the day I made this image from a hot air balloon. People thought it looked like an architectural drawing until I pointed out the oil spots in the parking lot.
This is the Science Hall at East Central University in Ada, which was brand new on the day I made this image from a hot air balloon. People thought it looked like an architectural drawing until I pointed out the oil spots in the parking lot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.