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Gabby 1

This is a scan of a fiber-based print I made yesterday in my man-cave/darkroom. This subject is the granddaughter  of my former college roommate and long time best friend ….yes, granddaughter. (He was commenting recently how could it be forty years since graduation?)

I was at his house assisting in a building project and had my trusty old Nikon F4 with me in case there was a home invasion attempt, the camera being the ultimate tool for applying a concussion to an assailant. I had attached to it a 35 – 105 zoom Nikkor and was using Fuji Neopan 400 as film, rated at the published ASA (for old times’ sake). It was developed in D-76 in a Jobo processor, and the paper was Ilford FB glossy.

I almost trashed this one because of the obvious mushiness. I think focus fell around her knees. Nice shot of the child, true, but technically worthy of the bin.

Then I began to think. Maybe I should give this to the grandparents anyway. She’s still recognizable, after all. This photo does have a sort of charm to it as being taken by an amateur clumsily wielding his 35mm. There is the grain so sought after these days in Lightroom. It is an archival print and will be around in this condition for decades and decades.

Now, who, if they found a photo of their great-grandmother when a three year old cheerfully holding a book at great-great grandmother’s house, would look at it and say, “Oh, look, that inept photographer mucked up the focus on this one. To the bin it goes!”

I believe that so many pictures we have now of people and simply consign to the mundane if not awful are the treasures of the distant future and will be much appreciated by the descendants of the subjects of the snapshots.

So I think I will give this to my friends, even though my reputation as a competent photographer will suffer. But, no harm; I’m not trying to make a living off of it, am I?