Photography

Introduction

My first career was in photography and I have thousands of negatives that my family has never seen or only seen once or twice in a slide show. These are now being scanned so I can give a DVD box-set to my children to pass on to them some of the family history in pictures.

My first camera was a 4 x 5 view camera that I built from a kit in 1949. It had a wire-sharp 8 inch f/5.6 lens that I purchased second hand from a portrait photographer with a studio on lower Broadway in San Diego, California. My second camera was a 4 x 5 Speed Graphic that I bought with the first money I earned as a photo lab technician for Barton Photographic Studios in Whittier, California in 1950. Together, these cameras produced about a thousand 4 x 5 negatives that sit in my closet. No family member as seen any of these.

My third camera was a 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 Automatic Rolleiflex purchased in early 1951 from my lab technician earnings. This produced about a thousand photographs in this format. Again, no family members has seen more than a half dozen of these.

My fourth camera was a 35 mm Canon (not a single lens reflex, it had a view finder and I could never hold it level) I bought in the PX in Korea in January 1953. I took about 1,500 slides with it, most of which my family had not seen until I recently (2010) scanned them and put several hundred into a continuous running slide shown at a family reunion.

In early 1956 I sold all my photographic and skiing equipment when I went back to college on the GI bill to get my degree in physics at UCLA. Both hobbies were too expensive for my life style as a student.

Just before our first child was to be born in August 1961, we spent $200 to buy a 35 mm viewfinder camera (Olympus) and a projector (Bell & Howell) to take family snapshots. I took about 1,500 slides with this that most of the family has seen at least once in a slide show.

These 5,000 negatives are what I am scanning now. After that, we have about a thousand photographs in albums of our parents that we want to scan, key, and caption. This should be quite a project.

Original: October 3, 2009
Revised: April 2, 2011