OT: Will and the Rocket Boys
brendanmacrae1969 at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 4 12:22:03 EDT 2009
I've offered up a couple of pithy aphorisms to this list by Will Connell, Sr., the photographer who founded the photography department at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. His son, Will Jr., is married to my aunt and we've become fast friends recently.
When Will Jr. was in college studying engineering in the late 1950's, he and his peers were big into rocketry. They built their rockets, 7' long, 150lb monsters (some with two-stages), and launched them in the high desert above Los Angeles. If you've seen the movie October Sky about former NASA engineer Homer Hickam, well, Will's is a similar story. After college Will went into the aerospace industry and worked on the X-15 rocket plane among other projects.
He asked me recently if I would scan some old 6x6 and 6x9 color negatives of his rocketry launches. I don't know what emulsions were used but it was some form of Kodak Safety Film from the late 50's. There were also two (2) 6x9 color transparencies. I don't know what kind of cameras were used for the 6x9 images, but the 6x6's were made on a TLR of some type. You'll notice that the pressure plate of this camera was not keeping the film flat at the time of exposure as the edges are uniformly soft. The negs were scanned on my Nikon 9000ED at 2000 dpi. The photos were taken by a friend of Will's.
I asked Will if I could share these with y'all and he thought that was fine. Enjoy!
More information about the PDML