A Little Introduction

So, let's start with an introduction. My name is Bob. I am your host here on this site. If you are really curious as to what I look like you can click here for a peek. Please, remember the few friends I have consider my sense of humor to be "about a half bubble off level". In addition to having some fun on this site, I also do Web Site Consulting, Mechanical Engineering, Racecar Consulting, and Photography, both conventional and digital.

People ask, "Where do you live?". Now you can find out. If you are interested in seeing what I call "My House" just click here.

On the serious side, I have had the wonderful bit of luck to have had a mom and dad who were very supportive of almost anything in which my sister and I might have been interested. In addition to that, my mom worked for Kodak® for a number of years when I was a very young boy. My father was also very interested in photography. He was good at composition. I don't know that he even knew of "The Zone System" or even was aware of a photographer named Ansel Adams until I mentioned the name and showed my dad some pictures done by this master.

Early on my parents gave me a pretty good camera to use as my own. I think I was 4 or 5 years old at the time. It was an Argus camera. I am not sure of the model. I took it with me whenever the family went anywhere. I would take pictures of pretty much the same things my dad or mom would. They would tell me the exposure and f-stop to use and I would point, focus, and take a picture. Mom would take the film to work and back would come pictures. I never gave much thought as to what process occurred between when the film left my possession and when it returned. All I knew was that a small container of film left and negatives and prints returned.

At the completion of my senior year in high school the graduating class was dismissed a week earlier than all of the other students in the area. I was home alone for a week. I did chores around the house and this led to cleaning and straightening a storage room that was just outside the kitchen door. On Friday, May 27, 1966, I was cleaning that room and noticed a large cardboard box whose end had come untaped and lay partially open. I stood on a small box and peered inside that box. All I could see was a large silvery ball reflecting light back at me. I waited until my folks returned from work and when they did, I inquired about the contents of the box, which I had re-taped closed. My dad informed me that the box contained an enlarger. I ask what that was and my dad explained how film was developed and then placed in a holder, projected upon photographic paper, and finally that developed, fixed, and dried, etc. Until that moment I seemed completely unaware of how those images I took became pictures on a piece of paper. I am still amazed that I never gave that much thought back then.

I then asked a fateful question. Could you show me how to do that? My dad's enthusiasm for photography immediately rekindled. Within several minutes a number of boxes were opened and the contents placed in the bathroom my sister and I used. The window in that bathroom was covered and sealed against light leaks and a darkroom was born. My sister lost full use of the room any time photography was being done and I had to set up and tear down everything each time I did any photography. That was a very small price to pay to be able to enjoy hours of excitement developing film and prints.

To this day, I still experience that same feeling of amazement when I remove a roll or sheet of film from the final wash and see images captured in its emulsion.

A couple of years later I learned about single lens reflex cameras thanks to Alfred Hitchcock's movie "Rear Window". The result was I purchased a Yashica J7 and a couple of lenses. Within a year I was working as a press photographer for two magazines that reported on the drag racing competitions at Beeline Dragway. I also did illustrative and advertising work for several companies located in the Scottsdale, Arizona area.

Then it happened. One day in spring of 1971 I ran across an Ansel Adams photograph. I was taken by the tonality and texture of the image. The incredible scope of the picture of the moon rising over Half Dome in Yosemite Park. I asked about the image and was informed of "The Zone System". I immediately had to work on learning how to expose and develop images with the control that I saw in that image. This also led to the purchase of a view camera. I also added an Omega D2V enlarger to my list of equipment I would use as this was capable of handling the large format negatives exposed in the view camera. Here is a link to a very nice web site which features, in part, works by Ansel Adams. It also has examples of work by many other great photographers. Their home page is Masters of Photography.

On Christmas of that year, my dad gave me what is one of my most treasured possessions, a Nikon F. I had been saving for months and was no where near the price of that camera when Christmas rolled around. It was one of the most emotional moments I have ever experienced in the realm of gift exchanges.

I have had the opportunity of taking images for a number of reasons. I have seen and photographed a wide range of subjects, human and natural activities and a range of human emotions. I have taken images of people reaching the heights of their careers and of some suffering the loss of a lifetime. All of this seen by looking into a small opening to a world that becomes captured within a small box capable of holding extremely small slices of time. This small window capable of revealing, at times, what the eye cannot see nor the mind comprehend.

When asked if I know what happiness is, I have to think of a writer named Ashleigh Brilliant. "Yes, I know what happiness is. I have seen it many times".

To start your tour, just click on the link below to return to the home page of this site. Each page will have a link at the bottom to take you back to the Home page or back to the Photo Index Page depending on your choice.

Oh, and yes that is the back of my 4"X5" viewcamera. The camera was made by The Graphic Camera Co.It was probably made between 1941 and 1949. More as I find out.

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