This post is old-school all the way.
It’s about a photo I took in 1978, using black & white film and developed in a college’s spartan photo lab, stinky chemicals and all.
I’ve held onto this photo, and some others from that photojournalism class at Ohio State, for no particular reason. I guess I just never got around to tossing them.
I come across the photos once in a while, usually in a search for something else. They’re in surprisingly good condition. (Thank you, Kodak paper.)
Artistically, the waterfall photo is not great, but I suppose it helped me pass the course with a “Gentleman’s C.” (Thank you, Bruce Johnson.)
In my quest to pay more attention as I get older, I’ve tried to examine everything in my life more closely — even photos I find in my basement.
Closer scrutiny shows that the artist (unknown, but I like his hat) appears to be almost finished with his rendering of the waterfall at Hocking Hills State Park. At his left, on the ground, may be a photograph or another painting that he’s using to help create the image he wants.
I have no recollection of whether I talked to the artist, or if I even let him know I was taking the photo. But I think if I had, I would have remembered the encounter.
So I chalk it up as a missed opportunity to have an engaging conversation with a talented artist, maybe even an eccentric, quirky sort who would later become famous. Instead, all I remember is the name of my course instructor and the grade he gave me. The end.
It made me wonder how many experiences I’ve had, day after day and year after year, in which I’m hurried or distracted and just do what I have to do to get by, to get something done and over with — and how much richness I miss in doing so.
As much as I’d like to blame it on the hectic pace of the digital age we’re stuck in now, I can’t. The evidence is right there in black and white.