Me, Van, July, 1982

Here I am, a month away from turning 15, leaning on Dads’s big old Chevy van (read its story here) which is parked in my parents’ driveway. Oh man, does this photo stir up a lot inside me. First, I’m about the same age here as my youngest son, about whom I wrote on Wednesday. Second, it was at about this age that I was learning to write code and found out that you could do that for a living, which set the path that I’m still on. Third, I had my first driving lessons in this van with its unpleasant, super-stiff manual steering. Fourth, my parents are about to leave this house after having lived in it for 38 years. They’re moving to Indianapolis to be near their children and grandchildren, and to be near Dad’s oncologist at the VA hospital here.

And fifth, this was taken with one of my vintage cameras. I’d been collecting since I was nine, but only started using my old cameras at about this age. This was taken with an Argus A-Four, a manual-everything 35mm camera from the mid-1950s. I was shooting Kodacolor II. I had little idea what I was doing with f stops and shutter speeds, and only about half the shots on the roll turned out. For this shot, I set exposure and focus and handed the camera to my brother to take the photo. I don’t have a print of this image anymore, so it was great to see it come back to life via my scanner. And it brings me joy to see that even 32 years ago, I was motivated to find out how well an old camera worked, and to learn something about photography.

See some black-and-white photos I took with this camera here.


5 responses to “Captured: Me, Van, July, 1982”

  1. bodegabayf2 Avatar

    It’s great to see old photographs come to life again. Love the big Detroit-built land yachts parked on the side street behind you.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I love scanning in my old negs and seeing what emerges! I have most of my prints from the old days but not all of them, and sometimes, thanks to my scanner, I get a really pleasant surprise when a forgotten image appears on my screen.

      I need to upgrade my scanner to one that handles medium format, as my Epson V300 does 35mm only. I’d like to find masks for 126 and 127 film, too. I have one for 110. I shot all three of those formats as a kid. I have scads of 126 negs. I shot 110 on my Germany trip in 1984. I could spend a couple years in my spare time just scanning and Photoshopping them all back to life. It would be a tedious task, but worth it.

      That brown Plymouth on the street there — I ran into it on my bicycle the day before I started high school. I was distracted for just a second by something and bam. I cut a big gash on my chin. The Plymouth was unscathed.

  2. Bernie Kasper Avatar

    Just graduated high school at that time Jim and can still remember things like that van and cars you have in the image, reading this and the last post have sure made for some emotions I wasn’t counting on today. But I am really thankful you posted them !!!!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      You never know what will happen when you read Down the Road!

  3. bodegabayf2 Avatar

    Yes! You never know. Reading Jim’s blog made me go out and buy some Polaroid cameras :-)

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