The Age of Film

In the age of film, I explored the area around Lake Jackson, Texas and made many predawn trips to the shrimp boat dock along the wharfs of the Old River in Freeport, Texas.  The Old River with its weathered and cracked docks was rich in texture and tonal range.  Most of the buildings had seen better times.  The boats were either wood or steel.  The hulls, cabins and decks painted white and all the hardware coated with thick layers of black paint.  Captains and crew were a friendly bunch and never paid much attention to my work.  I was some guy taking pictures.  A young Captain and wife invited me aboard their boat and showed me their home.  It was a fleet boat, relatively new but built with green wood. They were proud of her.  This was my hunting ground and I spent many a fine morning photographing along the Old River, as well in the area surrounding Freeport and Lake Jackson.  This all ended when I transferred to Tulsa, Oklahoma.  The move was the right decision for our careers but my days of B&W film ended.  I experimented from time to time but family and career took center stage.

Before I sold my scanner, I scanned a few of the negative taken during the age of film.  Following are a few of the images from that era.  I still like  the work and sometimes I wander back in memory to loading film canisters, developing film in the kitchen, and taking over one of the bathrooms as a darkroom.  It was always a magical moment when an image started to develop on the paper.  I miss that moment.  It was a simpler time.  Cameras had four controls – film advance, focus, shutter speed and aperture.  Metering the scene was either with the camera’s internal meter or a hand held-meter.  Tools change and we must change or live in another era.

Shrimp Boats Dock on the Old River

Shrimp Boat Machinery

Coiled Rope, Old River Docks

Shrimp Nets, Old River Docks

Remains of Shrimp Boat, Bryn Beach, Texas

Sand Dune, Bryan Beach, Texas

    • Robin
    • January 25th, 2010

    Rod, these look terrific! I see you’re really getting the hang of this.

    • Lenora Bruckdorfer
    • January 25th, 2010

    I still like the one of the sand dunes in Bryan Beach. I remember being there when we found the shot. Some people think it’s snow. Bryan Beach and campfires are great…along with the clams!

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