Adventures of a father and a photographer. Tales about the mystery and excitement of family travel.

tiistai 24. huhtikuuta 2018

Man Of Steel

My grandfather was a very tough man. He was in the WWII fighting in the front line. When he returned from the war, he founded a building company with his brother. They built almost all the public buildings in their home village in the Central Finland.

Grandpa didn't have a sick day in his life. Still in his nineties, he used to take long walks and have a look at the surroundings and the houses many of which he had built himself.

When Grandpa was turning 85, he decided to paint the roof of his house. All his children were of course against it. The house wasn't very tall, but if a senior would fall from the roof, the implications would be severe, for sure. The whole family tried to stop him, but he was very determined to get the roof in top shape before his birthday.

When the big day was approaching, Grandpa decided to take action. When nobody was watching, he took a ladder and put it against the wall of his house. Then he opened a couple of cans of paint and put them on the ground beside the ladder. For a reason unknown to me, he then decided to climb to the roof.

Yes, you guessed right: What happened next is that he fell from the ladder. You'd think that when an 85-year-old man falls from the roof, he'd go into pieces. But, Grandpa fell on his knees like a cat. There was nothing wrong with him after the fall.

The only damage done was that his left hand had sunken in one of the paint cans. His hand and part of his arm was now painted green. And his wrist watch was ruined!

Now the family didn't have to think what to buy him for his 85th birthday!

Olympus OM-10 and Vivitar 100-300 zoom lens

At that time I had my first SLR camera and only one lens with it. Because of that I was of course the male equivalent of Annie Leibovitz and decided to take a portrait of my grandfather. I decided to use natural light and brought Grandpa out to sit in the garden.

Unfortunately, I didn't realize that the lens was quite long and didn't suite very well to my purposes when I tried to take a close-up portrait of him. I didn't master all the brilliant portraiture techniques. Grandpa was a bit puzzled when I ran far away from him, to the driveway, to get the picture. Instead of making an intimate study of an old man's face, I decided to try to fit him in frame from head to toes. Not a very successful idea, unfortunately.

But, I still have the photo and his watch to remember him by.

You can read more about the camera, the lens and my adventures with them here and here.

And by the way, the man in the photo is not my grandfather, but another hard-working senior.

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