I’ve been trying to be a photographer for quite some time, most spent as a rank amateur. Still, I’ve kept the images I’ve made, if only to remind myself how much I needed to learn. And every once in a while I turn back to those old pictures to see what I’ve seen.
Way back in the late 1980’s I took a trip to San Francisco. It must have been an exciting opportunity because I took my camera with me. Odd luggage for a business trip but I must have expected some free time to explore what was going to be new territory. This was back when air travel was a little more relaxed and special because during the last part of the flight the pilot informed us the plane was flying over Yosemite National Park and we should all crowd over to that side of the plane to take a look.
Fortunately I was on the correct side and had my camera in reach. Also fortunately, I had loaded it with Kodachrome slide film. There was only time for a couple of exposures, two of what I call “you-were-there” pictures just to show people I’d actually flown over such a grand place. Who knew, I might not ever get a chance to see it again.
The slides were processed, glanced at and put away for years. Eventually I went through all my slides and scanned them so I could put them into my Lightroom library. A few keywords and they were tucked away for more years.
Then this past week I ran across them. And was surprised how much I could make out. I’m sure we were flying over 25,000 feet and I was shooting through an airplane window. Just a 50mm f/1.8 lens on my OM-1. Probably an aperture that would give me a fast enough shutter speed to cancel out the plane’s vibration. My first reaction when looking at them again was how much detail there was to see. I re-scanned one at a higher level (Kodachrome slides contain several megabytes of data) to see what else I could pull out. Impressive. Not my photography ability but the decades old technology of slide film and film scanner.
So, hang onto your images, digital or analog. You never know when a surprise may overtake you.
What was I so excited about? Take a look.