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Camera Work

Brownie Box 1947

‘Your camera takes better pictures than you do.”
-Minor White

I got my first camera back in, oh, about 1948. A Brownie Box. Roll film (127, for you connoisseurs.) I remember my first photo. It was a dog. Sitting on large stone sill next to a stone staircase. I liked it.  My Dad didn’t. He was a photographer.

Oh well.

It’s now 1950 or 51. I’m on my way to school. I see smoke down the street. It’s coming from the local newspaper building, the Cicero Life, now all gutted. I run back home, grab the camera, run back to the spot (curiously on the ramp leading to the street from the firehouse!) and snap a picture. When my Dad gets home, I tell him about it. He grabs the camera takes it to his friend who runs the Cicero Camera Store. They develop it, take a print the next day to the newspaper, which for some reason did not assign a photographer to cover the story, and I wind up on the front page of the next issue.

Score one for a 13 year old. And my Dad liked it!

Now if I only had a copy….

Which brings me to the White quote. The Brownie had no controls, other than Instant and Time shutter. I simply pointed it and snapped. That’s all I could do. So to put it in context, let me give you another quote from  Minor White: “……the camera was faithfully used.” And so it was. Front page quality at that. The 13 year old is in the loop but not of the loop. And that is the essence of great photography.

Kinda a hard act to follow, but fortunately, I had no clue as to what I accomplished that day. I took a picture. It got published. The paper did not send their own photographer. End of story.

So what happened after that? Easy. I discovered girls, or should I say: Girls! Photography went into hibernation.  It was to resurface again, at 21,with a vengeance, starting with me trashing my Dad’s movies of my wedding. With his movie camera. In Socorro N.M. I’ll tell that story some time.

My work runs the gamut from large cameras (8×10) to 35mm SLR to DSLR’s. The range is present in the galleries you will find at my website: Especially in the Black and White gallery, you will find the entire range represented.

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