Organizing photos never ends. I ran across a few today and nostalgia set in. I miss the days of film, and deadlines. And newspapers. The newspaper business is long dead; photographers are a dime a dozen and any writer can take a usable photo for a story. A newspaper will use an iPhone shot in a pinch and Twitter and Facebook scoop a story before an editor can get someone on the scene.
There was a lot of glamour and prestige back in the day when you hauled around 30 pounds of camera equipment and hung a press pass around your neck. The seas parted when you walked into an assignment; mostly all doors were wide open for you, even if they didn't want you. Freedom of the press and the 4th estate trumped everything.
I miss the entire process of taking photos, rushing them back to the darkroom, developing the film, and printing it to my satisfaction. Sometimes there was time, sometimes not so much, like one evening when I had an important sports assignment. The game, 2 hours away, didn't start until 8pm. I had roughly 5 minutes to get a photo that would please a sport's editor (very hard people to please), break speed limits to rush it back to the newspaper, develop, print, and dry, before handing it over for the 11pm deadline (daily newspapers have much earlier deadlines today). I had just taken the film out of the canister when the sports editor ran in, gave me the evil eye, and grabbed the wet film from my hands. In my defense, I still had 4 minutes on the clock.
I also miss the grainy look to photos that came from sometimes "pushing" your film to perform past its speed. In the black and white days no one cared about the grain because no matter what kind of photo you took it would take on the grain of the newspaper. Needless to say, we all pushed our films to avoid using a flash.
Last but not least, I enjoyed a manual camera. It allowed the photographer to be in control of everything. A million things went through your head before you clicked the shutter. Today's cameras are junk. I have 3 Nikons and a dozen lenses and used them well in my last 4 years before retirement, but never once was I as happy as I was when I birthed a photo from start to finish. And no matter what kind of camera you use now, nothing can ever compare to a well-printed black and white photo, no matter what your expertise with Adobe. There is something magical about black and white that pulls you into a photo. I think color photos are nothing more than eye-candy; no one every looks below the surface for the soul of the photo while a black/white photo bears its soul with no apology.
Let me end my trip down memory lane with a few grainy photos from old assignments.