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First contest

Back in the days of darkrooms and development with chemicals, I entered my first contest. It was held by a radio station and the assignment was an album cover for a band famous at the time. I created an image of a devastated planet with a blackened and melted landscape, while an atomic bomb was exploding, leaving the empty shape of a dove. In the upper right of the finished image was another bomb falling, and its shape is that of a dove. Thus the title – Thermonuclear Doves. I won first place and got a new camera for my effort.

The original was on Cibachrome paper which was used with positive color slides. The main part of the image is seen in the photo at upper right. It was a B&W negative, so I had to make an exposure on film to turn it into a B&W positive. I then flipped it right to left during the multi-exposure process, creating the dove shape and the symmetrical explosion. Of course I had to mask areas of the paper during each exposure, and use a fixture to line everything up in the dark. The image at the bottom right shows the original capture from the camera in the original orientation. It is a picture of a lawn sprinkler water stream hitting a pine tree. The dove shaped bomb is a photo of stained glass in St. Peters Basilica. The red glow is the final exposure used in the composite image. It is a slide of an out-of-focus globe lamp. It took I think four tries with my Minolta Color Enlarger Mod III, to get exposures and placements correct. (Mine was the 35mm variation, and did not have the color analyzer) The paper was processed in my Agnekolor laminar processor, where the paper floated on top of a thin film of three different slightly heated chemicals (developer, bleach/fix, and stabilizer) that were alternately pumped over the sloped development tray.

The Photographer