The first 41 years!

2 months ago 7
Posted in: blog


Today I started the process of looking through 35,000 color transparencies, (1,750 pages, 20 slide each), to prepare to throw away the vast majority!  This represents the first 41 years of my life as a photographer. The photograph above represents about of 15% of the slides to be sorted!!!  I thought it would be approriate to place my first serious camera, a Nikon Nikkormat FTN on top of the first pile!


Why am I throwing way nearly 35,000 color slides?  With the exception of family and friends images of which there are probably around a thousand, the rest were all shot long before I matured as a shooter and increaed my skills and vision.  In short compared to what I have shot since the digital age began, the last 18 years, these are far inferior!  Secondly, I will turn 75 in early Februay and while I feel good today, at this age, the clock is ticking.  I simply don’t want my family to have to deal with  all this when I go to be with the Lord!  I also have a massive collection of photography books that I acquired over the years and in fact were my photo education, those are being donated to Liberty University along with a bunch of photo equipment that I rarely use anymore, but that the students of Tim Issacson’s classes may get some good use from!


I am sitting at my light table and going through them page by page and pulling any I might want to scan in the future and the images of family and friends. It has been a  bitter sweet process as memories of many great trips all around the world have spilled out on the light table.  Africa, three trips to the Galapagos Islands, numerous trips to Canada and Alaska, over 25 visits, (each) to the major U.S. National Parks, France, and the list goes on and on.  I’ve seen a lot wonderful faces of friends together having fun out in-the-field, it has beem a great day, with several more sorting days to follow!!!


I’m not bragging, I’m actually praising God for the incredible life He has blessed me to live! So many great memories , so many great friends and assoicates, and what a wonderful family.  A man could not ask for more!




the pilgrim


7 Responses

  1. Dick Ginkowski says:

    I think your skills “back then” were better than you admit now. In going through those images I hope you will be like me and find many keepers that were overlooked. During the pandemic I am posting two to four archived images and, as the pickings get slimmer, I found that there are many images I wrote off back in the past that have come back to life . May you be so lucky!

  2. admin says:

    I’m finding a few, but the technology of scanning is so poor that film images scanned don’t stand a chance against digital files!

  3. Judene Gardner says:

    I so appreciate you always giving God the glory.

  4. David Wilson says:

    As you go through the slides, check with you children and grand children. An old image may my remind them of a trip you took and the memories of you coming home. See if any local schools could use old slides of places as a giveaway to the students to make the lessons more real than a just a photo in a book. A slide you are discarding might just fire up the imagination of a child that leads one becoming an accomplished photographer.

  5. Bill Fortney says:

    I’ll give that some thought!

  6. Mark Borchers says:

    Bill, I need to do something similar one of these days. Do you have any recommendations for making quality digital copies from slides in the most efficient way possible. I don’t have as many slides as you but I still need a “bulk” solution. Thank you.

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