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The Miracles of Analog Photography

I'm 50 years old at the time of writing this. I grew up with analog photography being the only option.

In the mid 1980's when and where I attended Independence High School in San Jose California I had a fantastic photo teacher: Mr Bernucci. At some point he just gave me a couple of way outdated boxes of Kodak Medalist single weight photo paper. The paper expired in 1972, so obviously it was made a few years earlier. Funny thing is that this paper was likely made about when I was born.

The big yellow boxes once held 500 sheets each. One box was grade 2, the other grade 3. At some point my dad Hans was looking for a photo paper box to store my grandfather Milton (Hal) Halberstadt's ashes. Al Weber was doing a memorial workshop to honor my grandfather. So I consolodated the two boxes of Medalist paper into the same box face-to-face so I could know one stack is different than the other and gave a box to my dad. My dad would set up a folding chair and put the medalist box

Fast forward to today. I work as the "Photo Tech" at Mills College and often help out in the darkroom. Alice Shaw is teaching the darkroom photo class and often points students to me for unusual requests. One student was looking to crumple photo paper for some reason and that doesn't work well with RC. I offered to bring in my box of old paper (in a huge stack of old photo paper I've bought and/or collected over the last decades.

I came in and gave it a quick test. To my surprise the paper still behaved normally! There was real black and true white. The tonality looked good. The paper and I are the same age, but I'm wrinkly and gray, and the paper is fine!


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