Friday, January 10, 2020

My Favorite Photographs

Louise, Rob, baby Don, 1968

My very favorite photograph in all the world, taken several years before I became a professional, hangs on the wall by my desk.

My wife is sitting in my old easy chair, now long gone, with infant Don in her lap while eight-year-old Rob is seated on the ottoman and leaning in, lightly embracing Don. Both are in their PJs, ready for bed. Illumination was from a table lamp beside the chair and another lamp across the room. The camera was a roll-film Polaroid, and the film was their 3000-speed black & white. Since Polaroid roll film did not make a negative that could be printed in any conventional way, Polaroid offered a service to copy the 3¼x4¼ prints from their film, make a copy negative, and then make prints as requested. I sent my little print to them and had them make a 5x7.

There many things wrong with this photograph, but not the love and trust, which are palpable.

Rob and Don are now 58 and 51.

Byrl Thornton Jenkins on his 90th birthday, October 5, 1999

My second favorite photo is this one of my Dad, taken on his 90th birthday, October 5, 1999. He posed on the front porch of his home, holding his Bible, and with a background of fall foliage. I used a Hasselblad CM and 150mm lens with Fuji NPH color negative film rated at ISO 320. I love this photograph because it shows the basic sweetness of the man.

My Dad was a man who was always young, always looking forward to the next thing. At the age of 89 he was operating two flea-market mall booths. On the last day we spent together, just a month before he died, we spent the day shopping for a computer system so he could go online and sell his antiques.

Dad passed away in February, 2000. The goal of my life is to emulate his faith, courage, and perseverance.

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