Why I love black and white photos

Remont "Joe" and Eleanor Bucholtz

Why is it I can’t get enough of looking at black and white photos from the early 20th century? These guys. Grandparents. Legends.

Last Sunday my Grandmother Eleanor V. Bucholtz passed away a few weeks after my 30th birthday and a few weeks before her 97th birthday. She was more than ready to meet her Jesus and see her beloved Joe again – the two people she never stopped talking about. Grandpa Remont “Joe” Bucholtz, a US Navy veteran of World War II,  passed away when my dad was just 6, 16 years after the end of the war. Grandma never ran out of stories to tell about him, and I never got tired of looking at old photos with her.

Grandma B -a name that stuck from before us grandkids could all say “Eleanor” or “Bucholtz”- was nothing short of an amazing woman. Friday I went to the hospital to be with her and my parents, aunts & uncles and 2 older cousins that live nearby when the family was notified that she was very near to going home to heaven. Even amidst somber moments reflecting on her life the gathering of family was the same ornery bunch and told the same crazy stories of our times over the years. It was there I realized it most that it had never taken a relative in the hospital to get us all together and talking on good terms; she had helped put so much love and care for each other into our family already.

That love and peace is a legacy and immeasurable inheritance to leave as an example for your family.

We’ll miss Grandma, without question, every time we think of her and tell her stories. She loved hearing about all the places I traveled so she was my pen pal when I traveled Scandinavia, Central America, and southeast Asia. I’m thankful for the 30 years I shared with her and all the time we spent together as a family. I’m grateful she was able to meet my 2 children, too. (My son Adrian even got to help push her “wagon” (wheelchair) for her when he visited.) Lots of her grandkids’ friends had her as an honorary Grandmother. She raised 3 sons and helped to weave a family together with genuine love for each other.

Also notably, she helped to instate the food groups of pirogi and Polish sausage as staple foods at family gatherings. Our matriarch Eleanor is the reason my family with a German last name calls itself Polish in honor of her heritage and various phrases said in Polish. (Mostly ones you’d say under your breath when you want to call someone a name they wouldn’t understand – told you she was ornery!) 😀

In closing, the only obituary she wanted: “Eleanor’s gone.”

If you listen I’m pretty sure heaven’s playing Polka this week to welcome her as we miss her and celebrate her life with us from 1913 to 2010.

Zack Arias sums it up in video

“Johnny 5, now you are hitting the nail right between the eyes.”

Wow. I caught this video following Zack Arias‘ blog.

For those of you outside the photography world, this week is the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) convention in Vegas. Yes, warm Vegas. Shiny, warm, not Indiana Vegas where rock star photographers show you shiny new books, cameras, software and toys related to making you an awesome photographer. Everyone pats each other on the back and has sparkles in their teeth when they smile. They’re all booked for a year straight and still have time to travel the globe and make awesome photos, albums, software, and…….

It’s my week of skipping almost every single blog post, Twitter tweet, and email news update from these photographers because one stuck in a rainy, snowy gray Indiana can be quickly overwhelmed at reading “this is so awesome” so many times a day while feeling totally left out of the fun. (And I’m pretty sure it’s marketed that way on purpose.)

And in this winter funk… much needed inspiration and reminders to push on have come over and over in the last week. This one sums it up best. Enjoy.

If you don’t see this video check it here http://blip.tv/file/1785698/

Summer Newlyweds by Holga

Last summer I picked up the classically cheap and funky photo making Holga camera as part of my creative escape from the immediacy and trigger happy shooting of digital photography. The Holga has become a quick low tech favorite of mine, and I’ve had some pretty cool candid snaps printed from some of our summer weddings. One of my favorites is… this one!

Holga Wedding Photography: Tara & Dwight by EB Photography

This outdoor wedding day was not only a fantastic celebration but a perfect day for Holga photos. I snapped 3 candid frames and especially liked the way this one came out. A high-res scan of it made it into the album too.

Check out that classic plastic lens Holga look – semi-sharp center and wonderfully “soft focused” and vignetted edges – all in camera! All that from medium format film from the mid 1990s – not too shabby!

Add this low-fi look to your photo arsenal! Pick up a Holga on eBay or Amazon. If you like what you’ve read here, buying through these links drops some change in the photo supplies jar. Thanks! 

Itching to get outdoors

I’ve been itching to get outside and hike. Ok, itching and hiking aren’t a fun pair of words. I’ve been eager to go hike again soon. I came across a contact sheet print from my film classes when I lugged a nice Bronica SQ manual 120 rollfilm camera around with me while I hiked my favorite paths around Worster Lake.

Potato Creek’s Worster Lake, North Liberty, Indiana

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  No green in these B&W shots, feel free to pinch em.