Brief Love Story
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Brief Love Story
by J. Ramón Palacios

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» And so it began
  Medium format
  35mm SLR
  The Exaktas
  The first Nikons
  Her ...
  The kids
and the Exaktas
  The Nikkormats
  The FE2
  Into the land of Nikon
  The MD-12s
Upgrading ...
The F4s and beyond
An endless
love story ...
Adventures in the Sierra Madre

And so it began ...

It was one of those burning summers of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico; as all of its summers, well over forty years ago. 

My father was returning from a short trip to Laredo Texas in his first automobile, an elegant Chevrolet 51 color bottle green. There he remembered me, as always, but besides bringing me comics, shirts, pants and the regulation 'fruit of the loom' underwear, he brought me back my first camera: a gorgeous Brownie Holiday of brilliant chocolate bakelite.
Brownie Holiday camera
Brownie Holiday Camera
His Reflex Korelle (2 1/4 X 2 1/4) of surgical steel, with its hand polished Carl Zeiss Jena, was safe now.

A soon as I could I bought its accessories: a horrendous bulb flash that I thought was beautiful. I now shared with the professionals the pleasure of licking on the contacts to guarantee the flashing of the bulb. 

I became a feverish hunter and capturer of emotions, almost full time.

It was an enormous joy to discover the right perspective, the appropriate foreground; the unsuspected angles and the acceptance of the challenge to capture the exact moment of the unfeigned smile, the spontaneous wink, the rasping breath of the dying sun behind the mountains, under a dry sky always stingy in clouds.

White bulbs, blue bulbs and extraordinary pictures. In some family album or not, they are clear in my memory.  Some I have been unable to surpass, even with the most sophisticated equipment.
Several years had to pass, maybe five, to change format. My poor Brownie had succumbed to the wrath of one of my sisters. I believe I was taking an innocent picture of the hanging of one of her dolls. As a consequence, my Brownie ceased to be Holiday and ended up with a hole in a corner, impossible to repair. 

There were no known glues for bakelite, at least in my neighborhood and the hunger for images was still there.

JRP quite some time back Rolleiflex Gold

Fortunately my father had by then a brand new Rolleiflex and allowed me to use a Rolleicord, with a Heidosmat 75mm f/3.2 view lens and a Schneider Xenar 75mm f/3.5 taking lens, which to me was identical to his.


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