Category Archives: photography

roots of photography

So here it is as best I can recall. I was in seventh grade. Junior High we called it back then. I was not in sports, I gave up on the sax by 5th grade. I didn’t know how to play chess or talk to the other nerds. So I went to the meeting about Photo Club ( I still have the pin on a camera strap). I think we made photograms. Then we worked our way up to pinhole cameras made out of oatmeal containers. Eventually we made our way to camera film and processing.

By luck my folks had gotten a free gift with a subscription to Time or some other magazine. It was a 35mm camera. It had a fixed focus lens with 4 aperture settings. Cloudy, partly cloudy, partly sunny and Sunny. So basically a ƒ5.6 lens. It did have a flash mount though I think.

My Grandfather, Manville Passer, was an avid fan of photography. He documented the family on slides (which I inherited). Eventually we would talk about lenses and such as I moved more and more into photography. Somewhere I have a polaroid of me buying my first ‘real’ came at camera shop in downtown St. Paul. But I digress. For many years I’ve felt it was the influence of my grandfather and the support of my parents that led me to photography.

I have been scanning images lately to post on instagram in between new images. I came across this one of Manville from Christmas 1985. I believe this was one of the first rolls of film I developed. Manville passed away February 8, 2002.

Manville Passer – 1985

Analog Photography

Recently I have been struggling to reconnect a Lightroom “libray” with its images. I have most of the images across multiple drives (I think). So I’m not too worried that I lost those images. Many of the early kids photos and trips are sitting in a shutterfly folder (probably). So what! Since around 2004 I stopped photographing with film and switched to a convenient digital point and shoot (for trips) and eventually a DSLR (also for filmmaking). So roughly the last 15 years are digital. Somewhere.

Since around 2014, shortly before my divorce, I had my Rollei TLR serviced and started photographing the children regularly with it. At some point starting the tradition of photographing them on their birthday. Since then I have shot a lot more than that. Especially on trips the last two years. I picked up a Hasselblad, then another one (sold the first one). Found I really liked a wide angle lens in the square format. Tried some Lomography plastic wide camera (sold it after shooting one roll). Picked up a Mamiya Press camera which is sort of like a large format camera in the front and 6X9 camera in the back. And it’s a rangefinder so that is interesting (and imprecise).

So after scanning three rolls I process today from the last couple of weeks (I didn’t say I was that prolific), I wanted to sit down and write about it. Or at least collect some thoughts to think about later. As of right now I don’t have a series or book in mind. I like to shoot what I like to shoot. Nature and landscape is nice, but I don’t consider myself hardcore enough to camp out to get the perfect light for image. I like photographing my children but at some point they won’t let me anymore. I’m interested in photographing people, but have never really thought about how to ask. Right now I enjoy having this. Perhaps you would like to buy a print and hang it on your wall?

Brandenburg Gate – Berlin 1993