Photographic Memories - My memories of the High School Days

September 25, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Mesquite High School All Stars 2013Being viewed by All Star Alumni Talk about bringing back memories, September 20, 2013 brought them back to me in a huge way. The Mesquite High School All Stars celebrated their 50th anniversary, inviting all former All Star Alumni back for the game that night as well as a reception the following Saturday. As my wife Robin 'Rackley' Huddleston and All Star Class of 74/75 said, "This was a once in a lifetime opportunity. There will never be another 50th year celebration!"

This was the first time in 38 years that I did sideline photography at Hanby Stadium (will always be Skeeter Stadium to me!). There I was once again photographing one of my favorite high school subjects, the All Stars. What fun! These days my Friday night photography is usually restricted to my Granddaughter Serisa and her West Mesquite High School Burnt Orange Band.

My, how photography has changed over the past 38 years. When I started in photography around 1972 everything was shot in film. Kodachrome was the name of the game! How I remember changing the film rolls in the camera, shooting the games and school activities, placing the camera into a black felt bag in the darkroom to remove the film, winding it on developer rolls, putting the rolls in a tank and processing the film. It was then hung up to dry in the darkroom. Then it was placed on the projector, and a whole new process begun. The film was exposed to photographic paper via a projector mechanism, exposed, cropped, printed, etc. It took forever by today's standards to see if your work was good or a bust.

Today, everything is digital. You put a memory card into the camera, shoot, and see an INSTANT proof on the screen of the shot. Back in 1975 one of the worst fears was forgetting to put film in the camera (easier to forget then one might think). Today, that fear is you left the memory card in the computer (again, easier to forget to do than one might think!). There is no film to buy so that saves you a LOT of money. One of the down sides today is that everyone and their dog consider themselves photographers. We live in an age of folks spending large sums of money oh photographic equipment - but this is akin to a person buying an expensive set of cookware and then calling themselves a Chef!

In high school, I recall being allowed a 36 exposure roll of black & white film maybe every month...not much of a budget so you had to shoot well. However, I was always a trigger happy photographer and bought a lot of personal film, so when I graduated I had a black notebook filled with some 5,000 negatives shot during my high school career. I also recall multiple cameras hanging around my neck. and a monster flash unit that used a large heavy battery! When you shot a photo there was this loud flash and whirring sound of the flash recharging. People seldom knew what I looked like because all they saw was a lens pointed their way and a partial face as I took pictures!

Prior to the digital age, there was no easy way to share photo's.  You either handed someone a negative or you made them a print. When our 10 year High School Reunion came up, I was approached for pictures. I gave them my notebook to use in the reunion planning. It never returned to me. So the thousands of negatives have been AWOL for the past 30 some-odd years. Today you would simply make a duplicate set of photo's on a disk or a card.


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