www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Costs to states not expanding Medicaid -9/17/2014, 10:14 AM

Medicare threats -9/17/2014, 10:12 AM

Green fields in northwest Kansas -9/17/2014, 10:12 AM

Consolidation by starvation -9/16/2014, 9:54 AM

School mergers tricky -9/16/2014, 9:54 AM

Hotel tipping -9/16/2014, 9:54 AM

Abuse video revealed nothing we didn't know -9/15/2014, 9:20 AM

Lessons from 13 years ago -9/15/2014, 9:20 AM

The zero option -9/14/2014, 1:31 PM

Why branding ISIS matters -9/14/2014, 1:31 PM

School efficiency -9/14/2014, 1:31 PM

Favors and loot for sale -9/12/2014, 10:10 AM

The 'college experience' -9/12/2014, 10:10 AM

Ellis schools -9/11/2014, 10:10 AM

Hold on, Mr. President -9/11/2014, 9:26 AM

The best bathroom -9/11/2014, 9:26 AM

The day the world stood still -9/11/2014, 9:26 AM

No one can play your part -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

Playing candidate dress-up -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

Congress at work -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

Schmidt is the answer -9/9/2014, 9:55 AM

The liabilities of cannabis use -9/8/2014, 9:21 AM

Downtown decision -9/8/2014, 9:21 AM

Why are red states so far behind? -9/8/2014, 9:20 AM

Taylor's next move -9/5/2014, 10:16 AM

Consider trees to spruce up yard -9/5/2014, 10:15 AM

Washington takes action to reform VA -9/5/2014, 10:15 AM

Umbehr stands out -9/4/2014, 12:25 PM

Leadership education -- it's not a scam -9/4/2014, 12:24 PM

Not supporting Brownback's re-election -9/4/2014, 12:23 PM

A fair fair debate -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Suicide in today's age -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Regulation overreach -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Sharpton, Kobach's common ground -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

In charge of all -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Pocket-book debate? -9/3/2014, 9:23 AM

Educating voters on education -9/2/2014, 9:33 AM

Crazy election season in Kansas -9/2/2014, 9:33 AM

An erosion of authenticity -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

Blasphemy, free speech and the 'black mass' -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

Labor Day -8/31/2014, 4:39 PM

Flexing muscles -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

Blacks must confront reality -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

The leadership scam -8/29/2014, 10:00 AM

Green monster -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

The resurrection of Rick Perry -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

Senate campaign -8/28/2014, 10:14 AM

Right to be heard? -8/26/2014, 10:08 AM

Over-covering Ferguson -8/26/2014, 10:07 AM

Figuring out the tax debate -8/26/2014, 10:07 AM

An obvious ploy -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

Not-so-beautiful sunset -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

Cannabis therapy -- Why bother? -8/25/2014, 9:29 AM

Business climate of Kansas -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

James Foley: Courage in the face of danger -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

Festering wound -8/24/2014, 11:39 AM

Big banks settling -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

Tuition pays for this -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

College textbook scam -8/22/2014, 10:16 AM

Policing a riot -8/21/2014, 9:45 AM

Evil strikes back -8/21/2014, 9:45 AM

Art appreciation -8/21/2014, 9:45 AM

Abuse of power -8/20/2014, 8:22 AM

Ferguson police arrest reporters for reporting -8/20/2014, 8:21 AM

Don't 'got milk' -8/20/2014, 8:21 AM

Another road map to success? -8/19/2014, 10:05 AM

It's the abuse of power, stupid -8/19/2014, 10:04 AM

Riots in Ferguson, and what they mean -8/18/2014, 9:57 AM

One of billions -8/18/2014, 9:57 AM

The GOP presents: Barack-nado -8/17/2014, 2:08 PM

Media and Missouri: What's going on? -8/17/2014, 2:08 PM

Answer the bell -8/15/2014, 8:58 AM

Get ready for denials -8/15/2014, 8:49 AM

Mental illness -8/15/2014, 8:49 AM

Mindless drones -8/14/2014, 9:27 AM

Can-do attitude -8/14/2014, 9:27 AM

'Poor door' -- a symbol of a truth we all know -8/13/2014, 9:19 AM

Eyeing the Ogallala Aquifer -8/13/2014, 9:19 AM

The slacker congress -8/12/2014, 9:02 AM

CIA vs. Senate -8/12/2014, 9:02 AM

The cannabis conundrum -- we against us -8/11/2014, 8:55 AM

The debate is over -8/11/2014, 8:54 AM

The 'Almost' Revolution -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

Is cross a history lesson or state religion? -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

Another downgrade -8/10/2014, 3:28 PM

State economy plays critical role in the future of FHSU -8/10/2014, 2:09 PM

Building on past successes for a stronger future -8/10/2014, 2:09 PM

Will Palin's channel rival Comedy Central? -8/8/2014, 9:25 AM

Western anti-Semitism -8/8/2014, 9:25 AM

Patrolmen without borders -8/7/2014, 10:13 AM

Not a choice -8/7/2014, 10:12 AM

Ebola politics -8/7/2014, 10:12 AM

Too few voters -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

A special breed -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

A license to vote -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

Selfies in Auschwitz -- and why it's wrong -8/6/2014, 10:03 AM

Election turnout -8/5/2014, 9:19 AM

Dairy's closing -8/5/2014, 9:19 AM

Concealing the Statehouse debate -8/5/2014, 9:18 AM

Beauty all around us -8/5/2014, 9:18 AM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Take a picture -- it'll last longer

Published on -8/6/2012, 9:37 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

Apparently, the venerable Kodak corporation is on its last legs. The iconic yellow film boxes are disappearing from store shelves, victims of digital technology.

Some professional photographers still use Kodachrome slide film; it can yield a depth of color and contrast which are hard to replicate by manipulating digital images on a computer.

I bought my first digital camera four years ago, but it stayed in the box for the next six months. I was intimidated by the non-intuitive bells and whistles. When our grandson was born that July 4, I took the box to Lori's place, where I finally opened it up and read enough of the manual to get started. I still don't understand or utilize all the features, but I can take pretty decent pictures under most circumstances. I still have some trouble adjusting exposure and focus at night.

My dad was an avocational photographer. After he took a photography class at K-State, he constructed his own darkroom. He saved up to buy a high-end German camera -- the old kind with a view chamber that opens at the top. One stares down into the dim screen, which displays the image upside down. In experienced hands, the resulting focus can be razor sharp.

Local schools sometimes paid him to shoot group pictures for the yearbook -- all in black-and-white back then. His services came cheap, but yielded good results. He just thought it was fun.

He also made photos of church members' new babies, and once a year mounted them together in a large frame, which he hung in the church basement as a "Cradle Roll" display. The parents received free prints for their trouble.

Dad gave me my first camera when I was about 9 -- an antique Kodak box camera that unfolded like an accordion. Film had to be loaded in the dark. He bought B&W print film in bulk, and cut off segments which could be rolled tightly and placed in the film chamber.

Once the film had been exposed, we took it back to his basement darkroom, extracted the roll, and placed it in a light-tight canister. Then we twirled a knob to rotate the film through a developing solution. This process was timed, after which (still in total darkness) it was transferred to another chamber to "fix" the film -- stop the developing.

After the negative strips had been hung and dried, we could perform the fairly tedious process of mounting the negative in the "enlarger," an apparatus that shone a light through the film onto a piece of photo paper. After timing the exposure, we placed the blank white paper into a series of trays with appropriate solutions. When images emerged, prints were placed face down on a "ferrotype" plate, a mirror-like steel sheet, to dry.

My own first effort focused on the most impressive object in sight -- the sun. Not really a good photo-op. Dad chuckled at the whited-out blur that resulted.

Dad told me about "composition" and "framing," the art of including elements that improve the overall image's appeal -- perhaps positioning the subject near the side, instead of square in the middle of the frame, to show context and surroundings. "Perspective" involved aiming the camera from various positions and distances to generate aesthetic diversity.

But Dad was pretty literal in his approach. He wanted to represent discrete subjects accurately, but had little interest in photographic metaphors or abstractions.

After we moved to Stockton, I started using an old Argus C3 35mm camera. I had to use a separate hand-held light meter, or just guess, to determine proper shutter speeds and aperture settings.

A naked light bulb, topped by a shallow white reflecting dish, dangled from a single line over the croquet court behind the church. It struck me as somehow stark and evocative, full of intersecting lines, curves, and contrasts, so I took a daylight picture of it.

When we developed it, Dad said "Why did you take a picture of that? It's just a light bulb."

Dad did some "trick" photography too. He cut out and glued prints piecemeal on a sheet of cardboard to portray a story, then re-photographed the whole thing.

The resultant images provided posters for the Lions' Club annual pancake-and-sausage breakfast. One featured prominent local Lions standing knee-deep in an enormous pancake, carrying axes and saws. Another showed a huge hand-operated cast-iron meat grinder, cranked by local luminaries as whole hogs were fed into the top, emerging as link sausages at the bottom.

I borrowed his approach at the close of my med school sophomore year, the junction between "basic science" and "clinical" studies. Our grinder was turned by the intimidating chiefs of our pharmacology and pathology departments. Recognizable classmates were being dropped into the top, some making frantic last-minute escape attempts, while at the bottom emerged people dressed in clinical "whites," their faces averted.

The conceit was that in the process of developing into professional clinicians, we were sacrificing our uniqueness, becoming faceless "providers," more-or-less identical.

I learned later that this picture, the face page of our class' section in the KUMC yearbook, won some award. The designer was not identified at publication, so they didn't try to give me a frame-worthy certificate of appreciation.

I was too poor to buy my own yearbook copy. Thirty years later, as a KU med student himself, my son found it in their library.

Jon Hauxwell, MD, is a retired family physician who grew up in Stockton and now lives outside Hays.

hauxwell@ruraltel.net

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News
AP Nation-World News

View this site in another language.