Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

When I was Younger and Trying Things With Film

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In October 1978 I embarked on a week-long swing through New England. None of the places that I visited I had ever seen before.

Given how young I was, it is remarkable that I did what I did. I would fly into an airport, rent a car and off I went in search of things to see and photograph.

I don’t remember doing a lot of research on where I was going. I just identified places to visit and went there.

At the time, Allegheny Airlines had something called the Liberty Fare. For a set price, you could buy seven days, 14 days or 21 days of  virtually unlimited travel. It was a heck of a bargain that no other major airline matched as far as I know.

Allegheny served a lot of cities in the eastern United States so I had a lot of choices of places to visit.

As I look back  on that trip now it was one week-long experiment as well as an adventure.

I had been making photographs for less than two years and on this trip I tried some things. In some ways I showed more vision on that trip than I did on other trips that I made in subsequent years.

This image made on Cape Cod is one of those experiments. I actually knew little at the time about photography.

But I must have known enough about how reducing the aperture opening of a camera could produce some high contrast images.

I was shooting toward the light and trying to silhouette the beachfront cottages in the foreground.

There was no digital photography back then. You didn’t know if something had worked until you got your slides back.

It would be a couple weeks before I found out that my experiment had succeeded quite well.

As much as I liked the results, they did not necessarily prompt me to continue doing much experimenting. I still sought to make interesting images during my travels, but generally without experimenting like I had done on this trip.


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