Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Photos of photographic history

I saved the best (in my opinion) for last. The photographic equipment scattered around the Free Press newsroom reflects a more hands on approach to news photography. Despite my age, I am not that far removed from using much of this stuff myself. In fact, in my last job in Fergus Falls, Minn., I used the exact same film scanner pictured here, and the enlarger and metal film developing tanks and reels are old friends from college.

Sometimes I miss those days. There was a magic to photography that is still hard to ignore. Don't get me wrong, digital cameras, computers and all the modern equipment we use today makes photojournalism easier in many ways. But those of us who learned how to make a print on deadline and push process film to get an extra stop out of it sometimes miss the "good old days." Of course, my colleague John Cross will laugh at me for that last statement since my professional photographic career only intersected the film era by a few years.

Nothing has really changed, though. The tools may be different but the goal is the same: Create the best, most creative, most storytelling photograph possible using the tools we have to the best of our ability. Photojournalists will always push the capabilities of our equipment as far as it will go. It's part of the creative process.

Enjoy these photographs of the history of Free Press photography.

Lighting kit.

Negative scanner.
Lamphouse of an enlarger.

Film developing reels and tanks in a box with a print from a past issue.

The steering wheel of the Nikon F.
Tmax P3200. The savior of sports photogs.

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