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Sunday, 20 August 2017


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Great piece, Jim! Thanks for sharing all those memories. This is the single best piece ever published on this blog.

Wow, what a treat, and what a story. Thank you for that. It's something I'll have to read twice, because I likely missed something the first time through.

"...When 'time' was called for totality, I occupied the first 15 or 16 seconds in looking at the Corona with the naked eye..."

Does anything later in Mr. Lowden's record indicate whether he suffered eye damage from this dangerous practice? It might be good to let readers know that they shouldn't repeat his foolish act tomorrow!

"Taking an ordinary 11x14 camera..." My, how photography has changed. Thanks for a lovely stroll through the past-- especially Mr. Hughes's past.

A wonderful walk through history, both personal and national!

I read these stories full of wonder. Thanks for sharing them. Mr Lowden wasn't risking his eyesight. He started to look when "time was called for totality". It is before and after totality that the danger lies.

Pace yourself Jim, you have all week ;-)

Wonderful writing, thanks Jim.

What a great piece, Jim - and what a beautiful way to look at one's life. Thank you.

Good stories, Jim!

And while you were smooching your new bride in New York an 8 year old boy and his cousins were marveling at the tiny clipped dot of light that appeared in our home-made "Eclipse Viewer" on the far south side of Chicago.

Warning to all young people: stay inside during the eclipse! Direct exposure can cause baldness over 50 years! I have proof!

Just wonderful Mr. Hughes, thank you.
Such a great story, so beautifully written, I will read it again and again.

Great story. At the time of the blackout my family lived in Sullivan County, New York, out in the middle of nowhere. We got 3 channels of television when the weather was right. 2 were out of NYC, but at best the picture was snowy. Of course, that night the tv stations went off the air. My mom was so annoyed she insisted Dad go up on the roof in the dark, and swing the TV antenna until the picture came back. Nothing.
Some years later we moved to Michigan. In high school I started calling myself a photographer and discovered Camera 35. I had to ride my bike all over town to find it. None of the stores stocked it more than a few months, so Camera 35 became my first magazine subscription. That was one helluva good read, and I've followed your work ever since.

Thank you! This is a wonderful piece...intimate, real, and full of life. How nice to find it on one of my favorite blogs!

Wonderful stories. My first SLR was a Miranda DR with a preset Spiratone lens, though my lens was a 135mm. I'm sure my photos were nowhere as good as yours, though.

I bet that "seeing" print sings in real life.

Mike Gorman wrote: "I bet that "seeing" print sings in real life."

Jim Hughes replies: The 1965 print of the blind man using his hand to "see" the nude sculpture was made on my favorite paper of the time, Agfa Brovira, in this case probably Grade 5 (there were 6 contrast grades available). The surface was glossy air dried on a homemade rack of fiberglas screens. Agfa offered two premium papers, as I remember, Portriga Rapid and Brovira. Most photographers I knew preferred Portriga for its warm, slightly greenish tone. Jill Freedman, for example, absolutely loved the paper, and was bereft when it was no longer available. I always preferred the colder bluish tones of Brovira, but it was an acquired taste.

There is no way to capture the paper's depth in a jpeg copy — but I tried.

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