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Class of '86... The First and Last of a Generation

I've done a lot of thinking lately about the Class of '86 and those "a year or two" on either side. Coincidentally a classmate made a Facebook group for our class, in an attempt to pull us together as we creep toward our 30 year reunion. I view our class as the first and last of a generation. As the last of the technological dinosaurs, we used actual typewriters and used these neat things called pencils and pens to do our work. Our parents could relate to us. They did a lot of things we did in school in virtually the same way. It all changed in the following year. Word processors were introduced, and the tech age began. We were in the middle of the transition period. We had computers, but instead of using windows and word, we were being introduced to programming in Basic, Fortran, Pascal, and Cobal, the languages that spawned everything in this digital age. We were ushering in a new era and we didn't even know it.

The reason I believe we hold the special place as the end and the beginning of two generations is that we witnessed the change from such an intimate view. We've embraced new technology while still being old-school. We are in the proverbial "sweet-spot". I've witnessed those just slightly older being left behind as they cling to the old ways of doing things (like refusing to text, ugh!), while those younger have a sense of entitlement about the tech (and act as if "texting and driving" is a God-given right for example). We appreciate the absolute awesomeness of a smart phone because we used a rotary dial phone when we were younger. A Blue Tooth headset was something from Star Trek, but yet I see more 40-somethings wearing them now than anyone. We appreciate the fact that in order for the text to get from point A to point B, it needs to go to freaking SPACE and back. I can't remember the last time I saw a 40-something throw a tantrum with their phone (and not blush in embarrassment when they realized it). For heaven's sake, I talk to my car to make calls and use media, but I still prefer to speak to a human being when I really need to get something done. There's a reason why products targeted at 40-somethings are often equipped with both digital and manual "click-a-button" controls.

As a photographer, I wanted to take a look at a bit of the technology as it evolved in the photo world. Unfortunately there weren't a lot of pictures online of my high school that were taken then. Those that exist are scans (possibly cleaned up) that were uploaded. I found two images that were large enough and looked like photos from that era, so I uploaded them. As a tribute to those in my class, I went to the school yesterday (07-18-14) and made a few photos.

Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences (Sabres) in Kansas City, KS is perennially listed among the nations best academic high schools. Here's to you guys (and gals). If anyone would like to download any of these images for anything, feel free as they are license-free from this blog. If you need one that isn't watermarked, you'll have to let me know. I'd appreciate you taking a gander at the main site before you leave (as it's still in a state of development). BTW I have to say the senior class gift from the class of 2005 is awesome.

As for the image particulars, I'm not going to list everything, but I'll just go over the basics of the shots. I shot most of these at F13 & F11. The wide angle shots were at 15mm (1 shot at 10mm) using a Canon wide angle. The shutter speed is only a viable topic for these stills because 5 of the shots are HDR. The overcast had swift cloud movement, so I had to deal with a little ghosting with the sky and shadows. Post production was in Lightroom, Photoshop, and Photomatix Pro. In most of the shots I duplicated the back layer, made a smart object (for a non-destructive work environment), and introduced a "bit-to-a-blast" of Hi-Pass filter to give the shots a bit of a "detail injection" because of what I lost in ghosting. Small tweaks to curves and saturation brought me full-circle back to Lightroom, where I finished up.

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