Friends make it all worthwhile, and occasionally a couple of them can converge in unexpected ways.
My Ansel Adams-era friend, Jim Friedman, has been urging me to revisit my old color slides to seek out forgotten items of potential visual interest. Only a small fraction of my pre-2000 work was done in color, and of its estimated 10,000 image total, I have only looked at about 1,200 so far, that is, since they were exposed some 40 – 50 years ago. So, with Jim’s much-appreciated encouragement, I have been back in the hunt.
Today, I discovered a sealed box, tattered and showing signs of past water-soaking. And indeed it contained a number of 35mm mostly Kodachrome slides. But also at the bottom of the box were some loose 4×5 black & white negatives, in poor to horrific condition. My last darkroom was shuttered around 1980, but I decided to quickly throw one or two of the more intriguing — albeit filthy and clearly damaged and almost certainly originally rejected on technical grounds — negs on my flatbed scanner and flip them to positive in Photoshop to see what I had. The result shows my old photo sidekick, Bill Wertz on one of our many sojourns to Death Valley, probably between 1975 – 1977. Herewith: