Photographic memory and Dandelions

I don’t have what’s often known as photographic memory. I do, however, have memory of photography. I started taking photos using black and white film, and I think the camera was a Brownie something or another. I’m not sure if my folks didn’t want me to waste money on good color film (that would have been wise), or they wanted me to get some experience with working with the unique effects of black and white photography.

When I first began taking snapshots, the photos were pretty blurry, so what may have been a concern was certainly valid. The problem was, I didn’t know they were blurry and poorly composed until I finished the 12- or 24-exposure roll, turned it in at Humphrey Drug (back in Huron, SD), and waited two weeks or so. Well, I guess I could have bought a Polaroid camera, and then I would have had almost instant results, but the cameras were over $100, and the film packages weren’t cheap, either. As it was, the 24-exposure film canisters were about $5 for the initial purchase, and then $5 to $10 for development, if memory serves.

When technology advanced far enough to bring the 1-hour processing in one of the local stores, that was a really big deal. In the interim, my dream had been to get a professional processing setup — a darkroom — where I could process the film myself. It was a case of no job, no money, however, until I started work as a sports writer at The Huron Daily Plainsman. Although, I was writer more than photographer, I often had to take my own photos on out-of-town assignments. Back in the newsroom, I could hang out with the staff photographers and watch them bring to life the action I had frozen in time on the football field or basketball court. Because so much time lagged between shooting the picture and developing it, we took hundreds of photos for just one game, to make sure we had a printable shot for the next day’s newspaper.

And, now, even with an inexpensive smart phone, I can take a photo, analyze it, delete it, take it again, and re-color, re-size, crop it, and upload it for hundreds, if not thousands, of people to see. I can still take hundreds of photos, bracketing the shots with different speeds and focal lengths, but with all of the editing options, I can get pretty close to a perfect picture. And, if I’m really happy with it, I can even send it to a photo-printing place and pick it up the next day.

Having said all of that, I have a few photos of our family day on Saturday. After a few years now, we have a DandelionEnd photo archive. These reflect a fraction of the fun we had together the other day. All but two are creations from a game we call Legotionary.