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Timeless Photographs

Moments to remember

By Carol EliassenPublished 29 days ago 3 min read
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Summer of 1976

It was a hot summer day in 1976 that I took my first “selfie.” I was in a small dorm room located on a community college campus in East Texas.

I was taking a summer photography class and had been lent a camera by the photography Instructor. It was a box with a mirror, and I had to hold it steady and long to have the light come into it and the picture engraved on the negative.

I stood in front of the mirror in my room and held the box close to my body as I looked up and waited for the image to be taken. I couldn’t move and didn’t want to breathe. It’s different from today when you can put your cellular phone up and just snap. If you don’t get it right, you delete it and take another one. No, this one was different. You didn’t know how the image would come out in the darkroom until you processed the film and put the paper into the water bath of chemicals to see the output that would magically appear!

That summer, I took a lot of pictures, mostly of my young nieces and nephews. I was amazed at the clarity and expressions I captured. I really liked my selfie. It showed me as the smart-ass I was in school. I was a rebel of the seventies. I thought I knew everything, and no one could tell me otherwise. I captured my rebellious youth and independence.

I really didn’t know as much as I thought looking back in hindsight. I only imagined most things that weren’t at all the way they indeed were. Regardless I captured my image that showed who I was in that moment in time like people do today, only more frequently due to technology.

I had someone tell me that this generation invented the selfie (maybe the name), but I have to differ since I have my own from 1976. Many others, photographers of the past, have theirs to prove the existence of a long-ago sensation of taking one’s own self-portrait. The difference is with the instrument, be it a cellular phone, camera, or paintbrush. It is the concept of immortalizing oneself with an image from a moment in time.

My favorite past-time is to still take photographs, but not of myself as much as I do flowers, landscapes, and animals. My favorite are animals with candid shots to show their personalities. I like mine, and the one below of the smiling camel I took at a drive-thru safari filled with unique animals displaying their unique personalities. This camel was a "ham" who even poised for us as we drove by. He even walked along the fence that separated the tourist from the time he spotted us until we drove out of sight.

Smiling Camel

Things have changed so much with technology when it comes to taking photographs. We went from cameras to cellular phones that have the capability to capture the world around us constantly. I still use a camera but upgraded years ago to digital. My newest camera is mirrorless, so different from the one I used as a child and in college.

I just recently went through all my old negatives from back in college and digitized them for preservation. I even found negatives from my parents that were from the 1940s-1950s and converted them as well. There was a treasure drove of pictures I had never seen and wouldn't have had if I had not finally broken down and purchased a negative scanner. I had been eyeing one for years, but just recently took the plunge and bought one. It was well worth the expense.

Mom and a friend from an old negative

Photographs are timeless and tell a story of our past, and the past of others. Preserving them, and identifying the time, place, and people is so important. Photographs keep their memory alive for the next generation.

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About the Creator

Carol Eliassen

I love writing, photography, painting, & crafts. I see myself being the "jack of all trades but a master of none!"

I may not be the best or have total perfection at everything I do, but I give it a good try no matter what and you can too!

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