Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Magic of Photographs!

I know its been a while since I posted anything here but I have been so busy with so many things the past several months and so much has happened in my life as well the world of photography.

In the world of photography the mighty Holga met its demise as we learned last year that production was being discontinued only to find out in the last week that its back in production again with new deliveries expected at Freestyle Photographic Supplies sometime in June. Ferrannia moves towards shipping its new black and white film while continuing work on getting its color slide film ready for market later this year. Kodak Alaris also announced that it is reintroducing Ektachrome slide film as the phenomenal film industry continues to surprise everyone with its refusal to concede to digital and die.

On the personal front we had “The Great Flood of August 2016” that affected thousand in South Louisiana including us. No we didn’t flood, but my daughter and her family did. My brother-in-law and his family flooded also and since our home was spared we were blessed to be able to provide shelter for both of them a time.

With so many friends and family flooded and displaced along with the usual ups and downs of life there really hasn’t been much time for photography other than the never ending and ever increasing collection of family photos for birthdays and holiday gatherings that are so important to those participating but not so much for blog readers; which leads me to the photo above.

Even mundane family photographs can take on special significance after a half century or under just the right circumstances. The photo above is of “yours truly” at Mardi Gras in New Orleans with my Dad back in about 1956 when I was 4 or 5 years old. If you know anything about Mardi Gras you will understand that this is street photography at its best. The New Orleans Mardi Gras frequently draws nearly a million people out into the streets in and around the area for a two week long street party focused around parades and other events. Of course in 1956 it was a smaller party but so was everything else, including me and the city itself.

This photograph was undoubtedly taken by my mother (notice she’s not in the picture) using her Kodak Brownie Target Six-20 box camera loaded with whatever black and white film was in vogue at the time. This beautiful camera produced many of my childhood pictures in a striking 6x9 format negative that required little if any enlargement. I recently acquired one of these fine old cameras and used it to produce the photo featured in my last blog post. That photo of my son, his wife and my grandson shows the quality image that these fine old cameras are capable of, especially when used with modern film.

 I actually thought this photo of me so many years ago had been lost forever after Hurricane Katrina destroyed our home in 2005, only to discover my sister had a copy in one of her photo albums which I was able to scan. Even though the quality of the original image was not that great and of course this is a scan of a fifty-something year old photograph that time has not been kind to, the image is still magical for me. And that’s what photography is really all about isn’t it?