To celebrate my wife’s birthday, I select a self-portrait she shot, at age 21, during the hopefully-not-forgotten fine film photography era. Ha! And youngsters today think selfies are some new thing. Annie doesn’t have a Flickr, so I—ah, hum—unexpectedly feature my own. That’s something not planned when starting this series nearly five months ago.
Annie used the Pentax K1000, which she bought for a college photography class. “It was a great camera for me”, she says. “I loved photography and really enjoyed developing photos”, although she concedes to not fully “developing my craft”.
Photographer Ken Rockwell describes the Pentax K1000 as “one of photography’s greatest, most popular, and longest-lived cameras”. He would know.
I scanned the original print on July 1, 2006, using a dedicated Epson scanner, which model is forgotten. However, the 800 x 600 resolution—massive for the web 9 years ago—falls below the minimum I require for this series. Yesterday, I rescanned the original print using the Epson Artisan 800 mulit-function printer, which, comparatively, produced poor reproduction. Well, so much for technological advances!
I sacrificed some quality, by opening the 2006 scanned image on Chromebook Pixel LS, pinching to zoom, and taking a screenshot. The new .png looks damn better than yesterday’s scans.
Obviously, vital statistics aren’t available for the original print. But I know the selfie was taken during 1980 in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
The photo is a favorite of mine that increases in sentiment. Later this year, our daughter will be the same age my wife was in the self-portrait.
Happy birthday to my beloved!
Update, Jan. 15, 2020: Last month, Annie found the original negative for this selfie, and for several others. See this fresh post, with more pleasing photo.
Photo Credit: Anne Wilcox