My Grandpa and His Pic-- Beautiful Images From the Past
That Time Machine
Wish I had this time machine ready for me and go back and visit family that by now have departed to a better life.
But for now we have the power of our mind and our memories. You ever saw a pic of your parents back in the 80's or 70's and notice the way they dressed? The first thing we sense is the oddity in everything: the hair, the bell bottom pants. The long sideburns and those hippie colors of the Aquarius era.
My memory goes back to 1969...summer of 69! yeah! I became very close friend to my pop-pop, who was a war photographer in Korea, back in the early fifties. Certainly, he pursued this career into his civilian life.
He was very fond of his black and white pieces of art. As a matter of fact, he gave me an Instamatic camera for my seventh birthday. I still remember those flash cubes, that will shot 4 times and get discarded afterwards, in spite of my pity as a kid... sniff, sniff.
THE DARK ROOM
It was like yesterday... I can see this darkroom he put together on his backyard car garage. The striking thing was this red light bulb inside his 'lab'. Pictures of us, of my mother and me were hanging on the wall. This table had the developer acid, water and the fixer. These trays were here for over 20 years. I would see pieces of photographic paper on the floor. Films were inside his personal cabinet, which were well organized. This towering machine that seemed to come out of the 'War of the worlds' was his amplifier. He would show me how to amplify a negative film into a bigger picture 'stamped' on the virgin paper laying down waiting for my grandpa to do his 'thing'. "The trick was developed by this Mister Daguerre and improved by the Lumiere's brothers in France... back in the early 1840's..," he would explain it like a pro!.
IT WAS MAGIC IN MY OWN EYES
"Light and silver don't get along. If you expose silver plates,( which were the parents the film celluloid), to the light, it will get 'burnt' by exposure. This thing happened to Daguerre; he left a leaf on a plate rich in silver...to his amazement, the plate captured the shadow and a negative effect of the leaf was shown, "same as the Shroud of Turin," he said.
"See how the picture you took with your Instamatic camera, is coming to life in this Developer?" This was the turning point to my eyes. I saw it with my own eyes, yes! The picture I took 2 days before was turning up on the white paper, that he took carefully from this Kodak paper box.
"wow! pop-pop! My sister's picture!..look!, the one I took after church... Oh my God! this is cool! Even my mom was caught fixing her hair up !"
My Grandfather was a Magician in his own right. names like Ag-fa, Fuji, Talbot and Kodak were common in his cabinetry. Cameras like Nikon, Minolta, Pentax and Yashica were part of his long collection... that he treasured until his dead. Celluloid little boxes from the film used with the numbers 110, 127, 135 mm, and Polaroid cartridges were all over his trash can
I can see it all right now... as we exit the dark room he tells me, "be careful when you leave, your eyes have been away from natural light for a while, so you will have to get adapted little by little...and turn off that red light, would you?"