Monday, April 10, 2006

13. STORY BEHIND THESE PHOTOS

It was a morning, at least some 25 years back, that I had a caller at my home. It was the assistant of a professional photographer known to me. Normally there used to be a tendency among photographers not to divulge the finer points of photography to others so easily. Probably they think ' I learnt it the hardway; why should I make things easier for others'. But this gentleman used to allow me to be with him in his dark room and never bothered to answer any question I asked on the practical side of photography. He was a true gentleman. Now I got a caller from him on that day, since no telephone faciltiy was there on those days as it is today. I went with this boy and my friend said that he got a colour negative film and asked me whether I want to use it and continued that it was an expired roll and I had to try my luck. I was overwhelmed with joy. But then I asked how to get prints. He told me that very evening one of his friends was leaving to Malaysia and he MIGHT get it done there.





You people belonging to this 21st C should remember that on those days colour film rolls were a rarity and there was no labs to develop the exposed films as far as I know in Tamil Nadu. I dont know about the erstwhile Bombay. So when I had a chance to have a colour roll, even an expired one, I was simply thrilled.



I took half day leave for my outdoor shooting since I thought that for taking a colour photographs I should have some greenery at least. I took my daughters dressed in their colourful silk dresses to a nearby park. Exposed the roll and dutifully returned it to my friend for him to send it to Malaysia. Three months would have gone and by that time I had completely forgotten about the roll. Then came the news from the friend that the prints had arrived. What a great joy to see "colour photos" taken by me...




These were 3 photos picked from that bunch which I keep as a treasure. Everytime I see these pictures I always travel all the way back to those days and ruminate how thrilled I and my family were. To retain the old day's charm I have not tried to enhance the photo in any way with any software. I just present them as they are...faded they may be.......but still they are quite valuable to me.

10 comments:

kozhundu said...

Hi Sam
Nice pictures, nice memories. I like any family pictures because they freeze the moment and time forever.
Do you remember the time when they used to manually color black and white prints. I do not know the exact process. We had couple of them at home.
Have you taken any sepia toned prints? I like them because it gives a old world feeling.

A n& said...

The third photo is fantastic !

sam said...

hi kozhundu sam,
i too had tried to 'add colour' to those regualar B&W pix. in those 'colourless world' when somebody sees a 'coloured' photo they used to always give a second look with their eyebrows raised. i will add one sample in the next posting.

sam said...

thank you sam and anand

G.Ragavan said...

Good photos sam. They have come out very well.

(your second daughter resembles you more. Am I right?)

G.Ragavan said...

Good photos Sam. They have come out very well.

(Your second daughter resembles you more. Am I right?)

sam said...

that's what everyone used to say. (உங்க அப்பாவுக்கு சூடிதார் போட்டா உன்ன மாதிரி இருக்கும்னு அவள்ட்ட சிலர் சொல்லியிருக்காங்க!!! நல்ல வேளை try பண்ணலை) :-)

tbr.joseph said...

Hi Sam!

The photos are really nice. I could not believe that you took it with an expired roll.

When you say 25 years back.. it must be in 1980.. Are you sure that there were no lab in the entire TN at that time? There were one or two labs in Madras (Mount Road) but the cost of developing was really high. My brother in law who was in one of the greek ships used to do that whenever the ship visited a Port. I have several of those pictures. But I was not (why then? even now) a professional like you and that's why I am reluctant to publish it:-(

G.Ragavan said...

// that's what everyone used to say. (உங்க அப்பாவுக்கு சூடிதார் போட்டா உன்ன மாதிரி இருக்கும்னு அவள்ட்ட சிலர் சொல்லியிருக்காங்க!!! நல்ல வேளை try பண்ணலை) :-) //

:-))))) God saved you and us as well.

sam said...

Joseph,
"But I was not (why then? even now) a professional like you.."// - i never became a professional and also never attained that level of perfection in photography.

"... and that's why I am reluctant to publish it" //- dont worry...after all at the most will there be a 'handful of peopel' who would see these photos ?? :-( so be bold (!) like me and i am sure the photos from that past may be a bit different for the youngsters.