Re-Visiting the Familiar
I was born in 1962 in Hamilton a provincial town in Western Victoria, 285km west of Melbourne the state capital, where I currently reside. I remember as a child the population, marked on signs at several main entry points to the town, was 10,200. Back then that seemed like a whole lot of people.
As a youngster trips to Melbourne were extremely rare until I got my drivers license and joined a band. While we played mostly in and around our hometown, we undertook several excursions to the big smoke to buy new equipment (guitars, amps, etc). My first job in photography was in retail. It was a few days after my 17th birthday and the old gentleman with whom I worked, Ernest C. Cameron was a photographer who, at 69 years of age, was working in retail after experiencing some financial problems. He told me that he had not been paid for the sale of his photography business.
Ern was still doing weddings on the side and I learned a great deal by assisting him. He gave me my start in professional photography, for which I’m extremely grateful. A year later Ern died and I ‘inherited’ the role of managing the store’s photography department and photographing an upcoming wedding he’d previously been booked to shoot. Within a short period of time I was heavily booked and within the next 6 years photographed over 300 weddings. After a total of 5 years in retail I decided it was time to move into my own studio, which I ran for 2 years prior to moving into photojournalism as a newspaper photographer with the Hamilton Spectator.
The next 6 months were frantic. As well as still undertaking many wedding and portrait commitments, I managed to convert a poorly run photography department into a considerably leaner and more professional operation. Inventory (particularly photographic paper) was dramatically reduced, photo sales were processed promptly and, if memory serves me right, overtime (which had formerly been taken in addition to annual leave) was reduced by around 4 weeks a year. At the end of that 6-month period my boss, to his credit, rewarded my success by making significant improvements to the departments equipment and working environment. But, having already decided to move on, I didn’t get to see any of that.
The next adventure was to move to the big smoke to study photography in 1986. But that and what follows is a story for another day.
The above image is of a Lake at the entrance to Lake Bolac about 80km along the road from Hamilton to Melbourne. It’s a familiar site from the many trips back and forth to visit family at Christmas and Easter since my move to Melbourne. I’ve always been pleased with the original color image of the lake, shot on transparency (slide) film. At this time of year I’m in the process of finishing current commitments so that I can concentrate my attention on Summer Coda, the Australian-made motion picture film that I’II shortly being working on as a stills photographer. My next job will be to begin planning for the (Australian) summer months and the first half of 2010.
With so much to do it’s interesting that one’s thoughts often travel backwards. Maybe it’s the way we resolve certain events from our past. When your inner self thinks its time to deal with them it brings them forward into the now. And now is always the best time for resolution.
So, with that in mind, I thought I’d use the above image to re-visit the familiar with a more nostalgic treatment, from the days of the black-and-white darkroom. The original color transparency was scanned and processed in Adobe Camera RAW. Subtle changes in color, somewhat akin to a black-and-white photograph treated with Selenium toner, were applied in Adobe Photoshop CS4.
I hope you enjoy the image and my little walk down memory lane.
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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography