My mother's dad, Boris, was an avid amateur photographer. Family lore is rife with stories of him checking the light meter and slowly adjusting the focus on the giant lens attached to his equally giant camera as we, posed and poised, started shuffling impatiently. I loved the cozy and alien feel of the tiny red-lit darkroom that he had set up in a closet in my grandparents' apartment, with its semi-mysterious trays of developing solution, floating upside-down images, and drying black and white photographs hanging from a clothesline. I never wanted to do it myself, but I loved watching him.
Many of his shots were turned into slides. Actually, the division was straightforward: black and white film became photographs and color film was developed into slides. It may have something to do with the availability of the necessary equipment in Russia in the 80's? In any case, I have recently started the long project of digitizing the slides. As expected, there are many fantastic pictures of our family. But a surprising delight has been seeing the more artistic photos that Borechka would sneak in here and there - landscapes, street photography, bits of nature that caught his eye. Here are a few of my favorites:
And what did I look like 30 years ago? Check out those 4 inch diameter braids, people. Those ponytail holders look industrial strength!