Time Machine

I was one of the millions whose lives changed after discovering photography. My first camera, this Kodak Brownie Hawkie, was slightly more advanced than George Eastman's original model, but the principle is the same: Stand in the right place and push the button at the right time. This emerging passion would amuse me, augment my writing career with photojournalism, and eventually become a profession.


Mom, Dad, and my sister Susan are captured here in my first photograph. 

Were my parents ever that young and Susan so tiny and precious? Even though they are no longer with us, I can see them as I did decades ago.

My Kodak Hawkeye would eventually become Leica, Nikon, Shen-Hao, and cameras of my design, but none of this exotic hardware would do a better job than this image.

mom dad sue 3

Here I am, striking a pose and getting my picture taken. The outfit I wore was called a "sun suit" for no particular reason. It was, however, the fashion of the day for every dashing young man of the era. Dad was an avid photographer, and I enjoyed being one of his favorite subjects.

The real adventure began a couple of seconds later when Dad captured the full impact of the moment with his second exposure...

x onejpg

The important lesson is the memory these images evoke and our ability to experience the moment.

I could describe this occurrence in endless detail and still not convey the impact of these two images. They have become the event, now forever frozen in time.

Every photo you shoot is already in the past tense. You are capturing not just a view but also a fleeting event. Your images preserve the moments that share your vision.

x two

It's unfortunately easy to wind up with a hodgepodge of images with no way of finding anything. Even the ideal puppy picture can be reduced to a memory, not to be seen again and possibly shared with others. But I have a solution to offer...


Everything I shoot is archived in the Save folder. I will copy from this collection whenever I modify or print an image, but these files are never modified. I date each entry and add a brief note. Adding the year/month/day at the beginning of each file displays them in chronological order when sorted by name.

Savet yyy

The Work folder is a collection by subject and includes any images I modify or wish to collect. This assortment is arranged by topic, not by date. This is where I can find photos relating to specific concepts or types of images, such as flowers, sunsets, trains, and of course, puppy pictures.

Work yyy

Photos that leave my lab are copied here, including prints and emailed images. The combination of Save/Work/Xport keeps track of my work. All I need to know is when an image was shot, what it is about, and whether I shared it. I named this "Xport," keeping these three groups in logical order.

Xport yyy dated
4 x 7 flowers

Reviewing the images you've taken of a particular subject or event can give you important insight into your work. Select a category in your Work folder and notice what you have captured. Then see what characteristics or techniques your favorites have in common. Larger

The analysis will automatically tune your vision and prepare you for shooting more of the particular things you are beginning to see. You don't have to figure this out. Just observe your work critically, select the excellence, and follow with more of the same.

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