High School Photography

Last Update: June 20, 2014

When I was a freshman in high school I joined the school's camera club. Being able to use the high school's darkroom gave me quite a thrill. I printed many a black and white picture using that old Elwood 5 X 7 enlarger. I was a member of the club all four years that i was in high school. My senior year I was elected president of the club. Towards the end of my senior year a photographer was called in to take the senior pictures for the yearbook. I was tagged to help him with the lighting. Back then the lights were nothing like we have today. They had very large reflectors with very large bulbs. And the very large bulbs got very hot when lit. We were about half way though the senior class pictures when for some reason (I don't remember what) I was asked to put the light down for a moment. Not thinking I placed it face down on the table. It wasn't very long till we began to smell something hot. The photographer looked over and yelled "Byron!". I grabbed the light off the table. Needless to say, there was a perfectly round scorched spot on the top of that wooden table! I did get to help finish with the lighting but I made darn sure I didn't place that flood face down again! The club had both a 120 twin-lens reflex and a 4 X 5 Speed Graphic camera. The club members were allowed to take them home on weekends for their personal use. I always made sure when it was my turn to take one or the other home with me. I still have lots of the pictures I shot with those old cameras. My senior year I had two of my photos win in contests that I entered. One won honorable mention in the Decatur Herald & Review Newspaper contest. The other placed third in The National Scholastic Publications contest Neither one was a money maker but I was proud of myself anyway! Just think how much easier and faster it would be to do the same job today with the digital cameras we have. I'm looking forward to watch the digital cameras we have now grow up. I can't wait to see what happens next. The sky's the limit!

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Hello Byron! I spent over 20 years running a school photography franchise and I still have some of the "old" equipment you mentioned in your post. In any given year my team and I would photograph thousands of graduates. In those days, graduates had to wait to see the previews (proofs) of their portraits before "manually" placing their orders. It was exciting times for them, especially when we got together with them to discuss package options, best pose, etc. It was very personal.

With today's digital photography and the ability to view previews on location or online afterwards, while it makes the process somewhat more efficient and cost effective, the personal touch is lost somewhat.

I still get people coming up to me who remember their graduation photography session fondly.

Thanks for triggering fond memories :) !
onyekachi Premium
Great story Byron! Are you thinking of choosing a niche to explore your love for photography? Do you still love to take pictures? For some reason, I am thinking you can do something with modern photography and restoring old pictures! Just a thought! Take care.
byrona Premium
Thanks for your comment. My niche is Digital cameras.I'm still messing around with photography, although its now all digital.
Karyskis Premium
Great story!
byrona Premium
Thanks! Stay tuned. I've got more.