My father’s camera, a Kodak 35 mm rangefinder, has been part of my life as far back as I can remember, and, judging by the slides I still have, even earlier. My first Christmas, my first roller skates, my first day at school—all were faithfully recorded by poppa using this wonderful camera. When I began getting serious about photography, I began with this camera.
My father took slides, for the most part. I’ll never forget meeting, as an adult, a man at the camera bar of a big box store in Billings, Montana, who, upon hearing my name, asked if I were related to Clarence Spellman. “He’s my father,” I replied. The man told me that he used to have his own photo lab, and that my father was the first person in Yellowstone County, Montana, to use color film—film that this man processed for my father.
In 1965, my dad and I took a trip to Japan. Using this camera, my dad shot 22 36 exposure rolls in ten days. Many of those slides ended up being used in educational film strips about Japan.
The portrait behind the camera is my parents in the 1940s, approximately when my father first bought this camera. Poppa died in 1988 and momma in 2006. I miss them both terribly.
Taken in Missoula, Montana, on March 13, 2010, using a Nikon D80 DSLR fitted with a Nikkor 16-85 mm wide angle/tele/zoom lens set at 62 mm.
ISO 125, f /5.6, 1/60 with flash.
Processed in Photoshop CS4.