Photos from the Way Back Machine

Susan/ January 5, 2016/ Personal Essay, Picture Gallery/ 0 comments

My geographic region is filled with non-profit organizations. In fact, Berkshire County has the largest concentration of non-profit organizations in the country, if not the world.

I spent 10 years in this sector, mostly doing marketing work for three different non-profits over that period. I have lots of photos from those 10 years, because as the marketing person, I wanted nice  photos to put on the websites, and to share on the social media outlets I managed for these organizations.

But I wanted to talk about some time before that, in fact a long time ago, probably 20 or 25 years ago now. Well, the images below are probably more like 18 years old. The ones from 25 years would have been the 35mm film days. So maybe it was only 18 years ago… anyway, this was a period where I was doing a lot of freelance work. Circa late 1990s perhaps.

Some of this was writing music features for Pioneer Valley publications like The Advocate. I did all this mostly from the comfort of my home, getting the press kits from agents and free CDs, and having phone interviews with singers and band members who would be coming soon to the Iron Horse or Pearl Street.

But also during this period, I periodically worked as a photographer, mostly for a specific editor at the Berkshire Eagle who was producing periodic supplements for the newspaper. There was Health Quarterly, and even earlier, Our Towns, among other things. I had fun especially doing the Our Towns supplement, because I did those with Gae Elfenbein, who did the writing. We’d jump into the car and she would take me to all the places she wanted pictures from to include in the supplement. I am actually not finding any pictures from that time, because that was definitely film.

But there were other things too. Features I wrote that also included photography.

Anyway, here are some photos from that time, in no particular order. I believe all these images save for one, were done with the Nikon Coolpix 990 twist camera, my first digital camera. I loved that thing. That particular model had been replaced by the 995 by the time I was ready to buy it (probably 1999), so I had to find a refurbished 990. It was a 3 megapixel dog, slow, slow, slow, but I had fun with it. I got fisheye and wide angle adapters for it and it was this camera that made me think a little more creatively. The Terranova’s General Store photo was actually taken just before I got the 990. I only had my FM2 at that time, but Don had got an early digital camera, a Kodak brick, and he gave it to me to use for that photo.

These are not sharp, and some are grainy and poorly focused, but I still love them for the composition or the moment I captured.

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