Cincinnati, 1980

I got my first 35mm camera when I was in high school, a Pentax ME Super, which I used for almost 20 years. When digital cameras came out in the late 1990s, I made the switch from film to bits and now switch cameras every 3 years or so.

I recently uncovered some of my first photographs, which were predominantly taken on slide film. With the help of a recently acquired film scanner, I was able to scan and view some of those old photos in detail for the first time in years, including this image of a forest preserve in winter taken just after New Year’s in 1980 (I’m pretty certain). My family was visiting my Aunt Shirley in Cincinnati on our way back from our annual visit to my grandparents in southern Florida. It was always shocking driving back up north, being reintroduced to numbing winter winds after three weeks of warm sun and ocean breezes, so the family went for a drive through a local park and I took just a couple photos, including this one–film was precious then and photos were taken sparingly and with intention.

Compared to the many digital photos I’ve taken over the years, the effects in this winter scene are dreamy and strictly analog. The graininess, over exposure and even the dust add qualities that I had completely forgotten about since going digital.