Thursday, April 03, 2014

Searching for Janis


I finally found my lightbox this morning, buried deep in cardboard boxes in the garage, which makes it possible for me to renew my search for missing images – notably black-and-white negatives from a 1967 performance by Janis Joplin and Big Brother & the Holding Co. at Indiana Beach in Monticello, Ind.

I have a couple of six-frame strips in my “rock stars of the ‘60s” portfolio, but a contact sheet I made at the time tells me there are several strips unaccounted for.

I’m using the nifty Mamiya 3X 6x7 loupe I bought a week or so ago from longtime Indianapolis News compadre and master wedding photographer Rich Miller when he was disposing of his darkroom stuff.

But I was stymied until I found the lightbox, which has been the subject of an off-and-on search for several weeks. There’s also a box somewhere out there with several thousand color prints, but that will have to wait.

The negs go back to the first 35mm stuff I ever shot in 1966 while working at the Tipton Daily Tribune, using my first 35mm camera – a Minolta HiMatic 7. And they’re a mix of personal photos and pictures shot for The Indianapolis News, which makes the process a real stroll down Memory Lane.

There are photos of pigs on a houseboat on a rural Sheridan farm, Carmel and Zionsville cheerleaders that Skip Hess and I shot thinking we might be able to sell them to the girls’ parents, the first Banks of the Wabash Festival in Terre lightbox02Haute, a guy in Hagerstown who made tiny wedges to fit the handles to hammers and hatchets and similar hand tools, a Galveston church being converted into a private home, Gov. Edgar Whitcomb signing a proclamation, a Carmel girl’s Soap Box Derby car, an Amish festival at Bremen, and on and on.

And also a shitload of photos I don’t remember shooting of people I’ve forgotten doing things I don’t recognize. There are thousands of those and, since I can’t imagine ever needing them, they are consigned to the wastebasket next to the kitchen table where all of this is happening.

I am struck by how much film I wasted on stupid, pointless shots of trees, clouds, cars on the street, planes at the airport and in the sky, birds in trees or on bird feeders, odd buildings, etc. Those are helping to fill the wastebasket too.

Of course, if and when I finish this task, I have to take another run at getting my Nikon negative scanner to work with my 64-bit Windows 7 operating system. Nikon orphaned the machine when Win7 came out by not writing a 64-bit driver for it. Happily, someone did, but I have not been successful in getting it to work right, even though I had it working with an earlier version of Win7 on a hard drive that died.

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