Precious Memories from Two Generations of Rolleiflex Shooters By Brad Husick

Precious Memories from Two Generations of Rolleiflex Shooters

By Brad Husick

My mother and father met when she was 13 years old. Using his Rolleiflex twin-reflex camera, my grandfather took lots of photos of her as she grew and eventually married my dad, whereupon my dad kept photographing her with his Rollei.

My father passed away three years ago. I inherited his collection of eleven-thousand 2.25×2.25 negatives, along with his father’s negatives. My mom is now almost 79 and I just selected the 100 best photos of her and created a book of them for her. Many of them she had never seen.

She says she looks at it three times a day and shows it to everyone who visits her.

Here is the entire book to browse:

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/invited/3603396/f2ab6a3cf43107fc3349c64513eeb14e583c9551

The negatives were expertly scanned at 4000dpi by GoPhoto.com in California.

-Brad Husick

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79 Comments

  1. Those are amazing pictures. Makes me regret that my grandparents were all pretty useless with a cam. Resolution of the day: make pictures good enough that we’ll want to watch and share in 40+ years.

  2. Um, one can still shoot film with a Rolleiflex or other capable 6×6 TLR, e.g. Yashica or Mamiya and get spectacular, timeless photographs. Try it.

  3. Such a great collection; congratulations. Your mother was such a beautiful person, too. I aspire to this kind of photography.

  4. These are great photographs! The one thing that stands out to me from these pictures is the love your father had for your mother. He was obviously head over heels in love with her. Congratulations on your post!

  5. I’d really love to thank all of you who have such kind words for the photos and my mom and dad. It means so much to me. I love sharing with this community.

    THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

  6. What a wonderful gift. Generations to come will cherish the memories that come with these photos!

  7. Hi Brad, this book is an amazing work ! I think your your mom (and your dad also if he would be still alive) could be proud of you, thanks a lot for sharing your story here

    Matthias

  8. True power of photography.
    And a reminder. How do we keep our photographs? Will our children and grandchildren have a chance to see them? And, all of us chasing best cameras, for whatever subject which is fancy for us at this moment: do we take enough family photographs ?
    Brad, many thanks, good lesson for me.

  9. Hartwarming images and story. Really good work. Your mom can be proud of both of you (father and son). Greetings to your mom from germany ;

  10. A few pages from an old diary
    A dusty shelf, an unread history
    All these words and memories
    Are all of you that’s really left for me

    And a fading memory
    Can’t cloud the pain
    When the voice is gone
    The words still remains

    And the years that fall away
    Can’t stop the rains
    When illusion’s gone
    The truth still remains

    (с) Fates Warning

    Thanks a lot!
    Really, absolutely priceless…
    And PRINT your photos, or they will jist disappear in this digital era…

  11. Brad, these are really awesome. What a treasure trove. And… hot dogs in crescent rolls, how classic!

  12. Don’t be so surprised. I have been scanning in my Hassi and RB67 / 7 RF neg and transp. These old film cameras plus a good scanner look great…these files at 4k are huge. Re/discover film!

  13. Why don’t photos look like this anymore??

    We acknowledge the beauty of this era of film technology, don’t we? — everytime we buy VESCO or SilverFX, or whatever we use. But our shots never quite capture this magical “look”.

    Heck, you know what? Even folks who shoot b&w film today don’t achieve quite this look! (In my humble opinion.)

    One thing I’ll note is the particular tone curve in these shots:
    Darks and lights are nicely separated. I.e, values seem to fall to either side of middle gray, not right _at_ middle gray. It makes for a beautiful contrast, and a feeling of crispness (regardless of whether there is actual clinical sharpness).

    But the film compresses the highlights, so there is very little that is “clipped” in the lights.
    Of course the darkest areas sink into inky black oblivion; but a satisfying amount of detail is left in the dark grays.

    (I’m really just thinking out loud here, as I try to analyze these shots’ appeal …)

    • What you are seeing here is the special magic of film when done properly. The tone curve is different and can more easily be manipulated at the development stage than when using digital. I believe this is an important area in which digital still can’t compete with high quality film images. And I say this even after the original negative has been digitised using a high quality scanner. Eat your heart out, digital.

  14. Wow, some seriously great images in here!! Can’t imagine how much the book means to your mother. Absolutely fantastic gift for her, and hopefully an amazing experience for you being able to look back through history in such a way. Hopefully one day my children (or grandchildren) will be able to do the same.

    Thank you very much for sharing! Easily one of the best posts on this site in quite some time.

    • But it is! Polaroid, lots of 6×6 cameras being used, Instagram and Hipstamatic. The iPhone, which is one of the most popular cameras in the world has a square mode.
      I’m convinced that the digital variants are making the analog of more interest.

  15. How fantastic Brad! Thank you so much for doing this for your family and for showing it to us.

    This also demonstrates the archiving abilities of film. 60 years later and the negatives are still good.

    Best regards
    Huss

  16. wow, I can only hope that I can create such a powerful memories for my own family. Inspiring and thanks for sharing.

  17. I agree! You dad was a great photographer and you did a very good job putting the book togheter, well done!

    Cheers!

  18. What a tresure! Stunning time warp with the help of silver and the 6×6 format and it’s special rendering. I guess it was a positive shock for your mom to be confronted with the visual memories out of the past. From my father I got a Zeiss Ikoflex 6×6 but no negatives from the past due to my fathers lack of photographic background……:-(

  19. This is BW when it is best. Great images.
    I’m missing this look from digital conversions or sensors.

  20. You mum was pretty and your dad and father in law were good photographers. Not sure why you’d want to offer an album of your Mum’s photos for sale on the internet though ?

    I have been menaing to put more film through my Rolleiflex T. Thanks for the reminder.

  21. These are great photos, and I suspect more valuable to your mother than you think. But I wonder how many digital files created today will be around, and printable, in 60 years? Maybe we should shoot important things on digital for today, and on film for posterity.

  22. Wow, who wouldn’t love to get a book full of memories like this. It’s heart warming and incredibly inspiring. Maybe I should stop hunting the perfect photo and just take memories in the form of photographs. Thank you Brad for sharing those beautiful and so meaningful photographs.

  23. Going through those negatives must have been daunting, but what a meaningful end to all that work. Beautiful images. The relationship between the photographer and the model is almost tangible.

  24. This is excellent work – 6×6 works so wonderful for portraits. Great camera, too! I am sure your mother is delighted with this beautiful collection.

  25. What a precious gift your grandfather and dad gave to you, your mother, and to generations to come.

  26. You Dad was a great photographer. I love old family photos like this. Your Mom must be so incredibly happy to receive this book. Thanks for sharing!

      • They are lovely photos, probably with lots of happy memories, but I do however agree that I think they deserve larger reproduction, if the scans would allow it. Blurs books look great with full page images, and I particularly like full page bleeds (no border around the photo at the edge of the page).

        • Adrian,

          A 6×6 negative at 4000dpi produces an enormous file, larger reproduction images would be no problem. I do my 6×6 scans at just 2400dpi and these end up as 85meg tiffs!

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