I guess I'm crazy........
Way back in 1971 I worked as a b/w darkroom technician for a local Portrait, Wedding and School photographer. I printed all the b/w, I also made frames, sprayed prints (yuck), and generally did whatever was needed. 1971 was my senior year in high school, and this same photographer had the contract to shoot the graduating students cap and gown group portrait. So..here we file out to the bleachers on the athletic field in our cap and gown, and were lined up according to height, several rows on the bleachers. I clearly, absolutely remember the photographer (who worked for the studio) shooting a banquet camera of us. He took two negatives. I clearly remember the cherry wood color of the camera and the shape....but more than that I clearly remember the large negative of the shot that I made countless contact prints in the darkroom including one for myself. Now here is the odd part.
I called the retired studio owner today inquiring about this old banquet camera, and he said he NEVER shot a banquet camera, he never shot the cap and gown photos with anything larger than 4x5. That the image of the students was enlarged onto each print, and we just contact printed the text at the bottom from a litho negative. This is absolutely not the way I remember it. He suggested I call the photographer I remember actually shooting the shot (who worked for the studio) and I did, and HE TOO said he never shot any student groups with a banquet camera, and he never did shoot my school at all. !!!! I am just flabbergasted, that I can remember something so clearly, I can see the camera as if it was today, and yet these non-senile men can't seem to remember. Maybe I am the one that is senile. But I KNOW it was a banquet camera, I just know it, and probably it is collecting dust in some barn.
OK, here goes the inquisitive part of me. You say you made a contact print for yourself. If you still have it, look at it very carefully and see if you can determine if it came from the original negative or not. Here is why I ask: I have made lots of inter negatives and litho negatives and it has been my experience that the resulting image gains about a ½ stop of contrast maybe slightly more depending on the scene.
Now I am not saying that every print from a lito or inter neg has more contrast its just that has been my experience based on my own shooting.
I am sure there are those who would disagree with me and that is fine.
But to the point, if you can determine if the print is from the original and the print is the size as the Banquet Negative that you remember then you have something to go on. If it is not the case then maybe you were mistaken.
"He who expecteth nothing,
Shall not be disappointed." Robert Willingham, 1907
If I could find my original print I would surely look at it.
Two years ago I was at the state fair with my son. We passed that dress up as a cowboy/cowgirl stand and I saw a nice wooden camera of unknown origin on a large wood stand. I said to my son that's what a portrait camera should look like. What a stupid statement that was; my son pointed to the lens which was attached to a digital camera stuffed inside. That one hit me where it counts. To make matters worse I stepped closer to look and the cowgirl assisting the cowboy photographer said to me, "Want to take a closer look or have the photographer explain how it works?". I said, "That's ok I know how it works".
I should have said, "Where is the old fashoned inkjet printer located?". Some times you just can't tell what was or is.
Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand
hmmm...I graduated in 1971 also. Some of my memories from those days are foggy also, but I'm not sure that being crazy is the cause...
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hmm, maybe some water shouldn't be dranken (drunk??), eh?
(class of '81, who's memories aren't too clear either)
"Remembering" the 70s
Anyone who was in their teens and 20s in the 70s and say they remember it is probably not telling the whole truth.
East High Class of '74