lørdag 7. februar 2015


The world seems to change even more quickly. I don't know this, but maybe things seems to change even quicker as we grow older? Besides, I always seem to forget how everything was back then, in the childhood days when I grew up. A few things have etched itself into the memory, and will probably never disappear, but then again a lot of things has slipped my mind and will never come back. The more daily stuff, that does not seem important at the time, has it's own way to just evaporate from my memory, quickly. A coltsfoot in a road trench, a red nylon Liverpool shorts pulled way up underneath my arms, a gravel road full of bumps and holes, the childish heaven to ride your bike on fresh asphalt, the envy felt as you watched your buddy being able to ride his bike on the back wheel for as long as he wanted... Then it's all the old houses and buildings that is no longer there, roads that has been moved, the forever changing landscapes as new buildings pops up. All those bigger things that you think you remember, but still will struggle to explain if you were asked to do so.
Of all things, why did I ever listen to my old dads words about saving all that good Kodak Tri-X for the real good shots? I did not listen to him all that much on anything else, so why didn't I just use it to shoot all those great streetshots back then, when I grew up?

Today I realize that it's just a shame, and nothing else.

The streets I grew up on are the same today as back in the days. They were a lot longer back then, but they are still the same.
The Thomas-field was great for a game of football.  Today it's a tiny piece of bumpy backtrack, squeezed in between two heavy traffic roads. Naturally, that was exactly what it was back then as well. The traffic was not the same, but the grass was just as bad back in the days as it is today. Everything worked back then. No one plays football, or use this field for anything these days. It's just lying there... between these two roads for no obvious reason. Back then it was there for us to use, as we played football in zigg zagg to avoid the worst bumps.
I doubt that any Thomas owns this tiny piece of land anymore. It's probably taken into some plans for future public use of some kind. The old man called Thomas has probably passed away 30 years ago or so, as he was an old man even back then. His house was yellow, and it's still there. I don't have any idea if it's still yellow, even though I drive past every now and then. I guess I don't have the time to even check a simple thing like that.

We are all more busy these days, even though we always had an important football match to play at that time.

Two Suzuki 550's speeding down the gravel... way to fast on that 30mph road. Our main road.
A blue one in the lead, soon to be overtaken by the red one. Loads of dust, roaring engines, speed, action. Huge beasts those bikes! The speedometers went all the way to 200 kmh, or even beyond. The eyes in a boys skull almost popped out.

Everything was bigger and faster back then. Well... not my fathers old Opel Kadet. I think the speedometer on that one maybe went to 130 kmh, but he never managed to go over 90, no matter how busy he was. The cars, at least my fathers cars, were always slow as hell. A few of my friends fathers had VW Beetles. They were never able to overtake any slow or fast car either.

For christmas in 1974 I got a camera from my parents. A real camera. All the shots on this blog entry is taken from a few of the first films ever to run through that camera.
In addition to being a helicopter pilot, my father was also a kind of magician. He could take film from any camera, and develop it in a tank in the kitchen. When it was developed, he could also make fine prints from the same films under red light in the same kitchen at night time. I was invited to watch every now and then, and I remember pure magic taking place right there and then.
A bit later, when our new house was finished and we moved in, a dedicated darkroom was made. I kind of grew up in that darkroom, when I was not playing football on the Thomas field, or skiing, or doing anything else outdoors.

The camera was a Minolta Hi-matic G. An automatic viewfinder camera. I realy hauled quite a few meters of film through that camera back in those years, but time and (ab)use always went along nice with it. I still got it, and I still use it quite frequently. I have shot a lot of great photos on it during it's lifetime of 40 years this far. I can't help wonder how my iPhone will look and work in around 38 years from now...
I got a few old cameras. For instance an old Rolleiflex from 1957. That's ten years before I was born. That one also is as good as new, and simply is a fantastic camera. You can hardly hear the shutter as it ticks. Ticking like a Rolex... and I can't help thinking about a fine swiss watch every time I use that camera. Great mechanics, and a lovely and sharp lens. Sweet like candy.

I love my Leicas as well, and the fact that you can hardly hear the shutter. No noisy flapping mirrors are good when it comes to noise, when noise is not a good thing. Mirror cameras can sound like letting an elephant loose in a china shop at times, which is not a good idea in certain obvious situations. By the way, it seems to be a rule that mirrors on the other photographers cameras are a bit more noisy than my Nikons... It's a feeling I get when I am in a situation that I have to use it in a quiet place. Really strange I guess...

Owning a good camera back in the 70's did put you into a few situations where you could really let every strict order from any parent bounce off like it was never mentioned. You were the recorder, the reporter, and you had to do your duty. It could be that a few of the situations was constructed by someone, but that seems to have vanished from my mind as well. There was a lot of action to be reported and recorded, and everything was great until the films was developed. Developing film was not for kids to do, so my father did that job. Not every negative made it to become a print... Luckily he was never to tough on the censorship, and at least all the negatives survived to this day. I got a few prints to make soon... digging out my old Tri-X films from the mid. 70's.

Scanning of film... yes, I have to go through this. As soon as I find myself working with pictures on a computer, I seem to try find a million good reasons to get away from it. As soon as I move from something physical into the world of 0's and 1's. Endlessly binary rows... Well, I get sweaty and a headache suddenly creeps into my body in some mysterious way. I don't like it. In fact I hate it, but know it has to be done these days. A real silverprint is so much more than the scanned file from a negative, but still I do the scanning and the posting of the files from time to time. I do it here as well, and on Facebook... and on Flickr and all over the place.
It's reality though, that the majority of pictures is viewed on a screen these days.
I would love to have a big white wall where I could go nuts with loads of good silverprints instead, but that will probably not happen. I can still dream though.
I never edit my scans to any big extent. I might crop away the ragged borders some times, and I might adjust a little bit on the light if I feel like it, but I hardly ever remove dust and stuff like that. Only in special cases.

I will do some spotting on the final prints of these shots when I take them to the darkroom to make prints of a few of them. I even think a couple of them might end up on a wall somewhere in a small music studio owned by a man I know well...

2 kommentarer:

  1. Am enjoying your blog enormously, Roy. Great photographs&stories. And I know where you're coming from with all those 0s and 1s. I spent my career teaching Computer Science and I just love being able to touch and hold negatives...and printing in the darkroom beats sitting in front of a computer any day.

    1. Thanks a lot for your kind words Michael. I'm in the middle of going through your blog as well, but it takes a bit more time than going through this thing. It's not exactly huge yet... but I hope to have more to say in the times to come :) You got a lot of interresting things going on there, and I truly enjoy it a lot. I hope to get my new darkroom ready sooner rather than later, and just simply can't wait for it to materialize...! I love printing, but obviously the bathroom solution is not the very best one...! See you around mate!


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