Will and the Rocket Boys

Christine Aguila caguila at earthlink.net
Tue Oct 6 09:11:01 EDT 2009

Thank, Will, for us.  Really fun to see these pics.  Thanks for sharing. 
Cheers, Christine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Brendan MacRae" <brendanmacrae1969 at yahoo.com>
To: "pdml" <pdml at pdml.net>
Sent: Sunday, October 04, 2009 11:22 AM
Subject: OT: Will and the Rocket Boys

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 

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. 



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