Tag: boy

Black and White and Read All Over

Back in high school, one of my favorite classes was the photography course I took my senior year.  The school had its own photo lab, complete with darkroom & developing equipment.  For a modest fee, you could buy lots of hand-rolled film and use the darkroom any time you wanted outside of your regularly scheduled class hours.  I spent a lot of time there.

Nowadays, everyone's transitioning to digital cameras.  While these might provide your instant gratification junkies with their pictures right this second, there is a lot to be said for the whole photo development process.  You learn patience while hand-developing your film.  You learn how to take your negatives and evaluate which ones would look good as small pictures, and which ones would need to be 8×10 or larger to really "pop".  You play with enlargers and photo paper and learn how to develop the resulting photos in trays of developer and water, and wait anxiously for them to dry so you can mount and mat them.  You spend time with your classmates, not staring at a monitor or transforming in Photoshop, but chatting over the cleanup of buckets of chemicals and snips of paper on the floor.  I miss being a part of all of that.

I had a few rolls of film left over when I graduated that I never got a chance to use or develop.  I took pictures on them over the next few years here and there, and then left them sitting in my sock drawer, thinking I'd get a home darkroom setup one day to continue my photo efforts.  But it never happened, and last month I finally decided to pay the piper to get the film developed before it went bad.  These are the cream of the crop from the three rolls, for your viewing pleasure:

[NaBloPoMo 2008 – #10/30]

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Do a Good Turn Daily

It's been a long time since I've been a Boy Scout (10 years, to be exact), but their slogan always stuck with me.  I don't make a point of jumping out of bed in the morning with a checklist of good deeds to do; nor do I spend every waking minute analyzing the world around me to see if there's something that would qualify as a good deed.  But more often than not, I find myself impulsively or instinctively doing something that would probably qualify, looking back on it later.

Take today, for example.  I was enjoying the sun and cool breeze while waiting outside the mechanic's shop for my car's yearly inspection and an oil change.  A guy parked in line at the entrance of the shop went inside to take care of his paperwork, and a lady pulled in behind him in line.  I was just going back to my book when I heard a rattling noise and looked up to see a shopping cart barreling down on the car of the guy who was inside.  I didn't stop to think; I just got up from where I was sitting on the curb and ran over and grabbed the cart a few scant inches before it dented the side of his new-looking Accord.  I'm sure the lady behind the car saw me, just as I'm sure that the guy inside (and around a corner) did not see me.  But I didn't care about getting a thank you for stopping the spontaneous creation of a new dent in the guy's car, I was just happy to be able to have done something, however little, to keep someone else from having a worse day.  I secured the shopping cart in such a way that it wouldn't get caught by the wind and hit someone else's car, and went back to reading my book and enjoying being outside on such a beautiful day.

I may not have a chance to do something nice for a friend or stranger tomorrow, or even any time in the next week.  But if I see some place where I can help, you can bet that I will.  Even if it's something as simple as stooping to pick up something that someone just dropped, or stopping a shopping cart before it can hit someone's car.

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