Recently, while clearing out my storage, I stumbled upon a box of slides from a trip I took to America in the summer of ’78. I visited Illinois, California and Wisconsin where places and situations had a strong visual impact on me. My head constantly spun around for images, while my eyes automatically cropped whatever was in my line of vision. Everywhere I looked I saw a potential photo opportunity. My only limitations were how quickly I could reach for my camera and how efficiently I could load a roll of film.
Looking back at these images after an interval of more than thirty years, I was surprised by what I saw. They let me look in the rearview mirror and see that the impact this road trip had on me, later defined my career as a graphic designer and photographer.
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My camera at the time was an Olympus OM-1, a simple, straightforward manual camera. The film I used was Kodachrome. Kodak was famous for a slogan in the early years “You press the shutter, we do the rest”. And that was what was fantastic with Kodachrome. After exposing a roll of film, you wrote your name and address on the tiny red and yellow paper envelope that came with the box. Dropped it in the mailbox, and then – Voila! – A few days later you received your developed film. And as framed slides!
A few words on the subject of postproduction.
Besides converting these pictures from slides to digital, I have not altered them in any way. The colors and the composition are all as they were originally. Back then, the concept of postproduction didn’t exist for the man in the street. You took a photograph and then later if it had flaws – too bad, you had to live with them. It just wasn’t possible to alter or change images like it is today.
Chicago, Illinois/La Jolla, San Diego/ Los Angeles, California/Winnetka, Illinois.
WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Janet Hall, who helped me with the English translation and copy.
Tibor (Tibbe) Berki, who helped me build this website. Patient, willing and a technical wiz.
Johan Carlson, a friend for many years, a great photographer, a sounding board, and a source of inspiration.