Selfies Anonymous

KLS reflection in print dryerHi, I’m Ken, and I’ve shot selfies. It has been approximately 3-1/2 months since my last selfie.

I offer up that confession because I’ve made fun of folks who shoot them, most recently at an Ohio University football game I covered last fall. Then, while looking for a photo, I started realizing how many self-portraits I had taken over the years. I have been in serious denial.

One of the earliest I could find was my reflection on the photo print dryer in the Central High School darkroom. The dryer’s shiny metal plates that imparted a glossy surface on the print when it dried served as a great curved mirror..

Not my Budweiser towel

Ken Steinhoff in Ohio Univesity Scott Quad dorm room fall of 1967Early on in one of my Ohio University photo classes, we had to take some self-portraits. This was my reflection in a mirror in the Scott Quadrangle dorm room I shared with two freshmen. The Bud towel belonged to one of them. It was what passed for decoration in what was primarily a freshman dorm.

I’m shooting it with a Mamyia C33 twin lens reflex I bought used from Nowell’s Camera Shop. A serviceman coming back from Vietnam sold it and three lenses for $300. I hated the square format, but 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 was required for at least one of my classes. I sold it as quickly as I could.

Always hiding behind camera

Ken Steinhoff self-portrait 03-07-1968There’s a common theme in most of these photos: I’m almost always hiding behind a camera. This was shot March 7, 1968.

Let’s climb on a rooftop

Ken Steinhoff self-portrait Athens OH 03-07-1968This was taken right after the precvious shot. I figured anybody could take a photo on the ground, so I climbed on top of the Beckley building in uptown Athens to get this portrait with the county courthouse in the background. If you can’t make it good, at least make it unusual. I used that vantage point a lot over the next several years.

The long arm of the photographer

Ken Steinhoff Athens Messenger Photo Lab 10-24-1968This looks more like today’s selfie. My arm must have been longer in those days because I have trouble shooting them today. I know the lens was wider in 1968 and I’m wider in 2014, so the combination of those things may make it tougher. This was shot in the photo lab at The Athens Messenger.

Note the psychedelic poster on the wall. That, like the Bud towel, wasn’t my decoration. I’ll blame Bob Rogers or Jon Webb for it.

Multiple light assignment

Ken - Lila Steinhoff - Bob Rogers apt 11-14-1968 7Lots of photo class assignments were finger exercises to teach us technique. Most of them were intended to be shot in a studio, but I was lousy at studio lighting and I thought it was boring, so I’d work outside the box. I’m sure some of the instructors weren’t happy with the way I bent the rules, but they couldn’t kick the image back because I hadn’t exactly broken them.

This shot was taken in Bob Rogers’ basement apartment on November 14, 1968. (That’s Bob in the foreground.) In the pre-digital days, you didn’t know immediately if you got the shot or not, so you shot multiple exposures to hedge your bets. This picture had three or more lights that had to be balanced, so it took lots of exposures with Bob and Wife Lila being very patient. In this shot, I’m going out to assure her that we are almost done.

Trying something new

Ken Steinhoff  Basketball 12-14-1968When you cover as many high school and college ball games as Bob and I did, you start looking for something different. One night we decided to go as far in as different photographic directions as possible: I set up a camera with a wideangle fisheye lens, and he shot with a 500mm telephoto. So far as I know, that was the ONLY time we ever tried that.

John J. Lopinot was the triggerman

Ken Steinhoff - John J Lopinot in Biltmore in PB c 1977This may not technically qualify as a selfie because my finger’s not on the trigger (or self-timer.) Chief photographer John J. Lopinot and I went on a tour of Palm Beach’s Roaring ’20s Biltmore Hotel when it looked like it might be torn down. (It’s been converted into upscale condo apartments, thankfully.)

We spotted a mirror in the hallway and Lopi took the shot. I like the interesting juxtaposition of the man on the right who shows up twice and the woman giving us the strange look.

My shot from the Biltmore

Ken Steinhoff in Biltmore Hotel c 1977We came upon another mirror later in the walk and I took a solo portrait. I’m shooting with a 24mm wideangle lens and am carrying bodies with 105mm and 200mm lenses.

I loved curved mirrors

Altenburg Foods 07-18-2011I was always a sucker for curved mirrors. I’ve taken some I like better but couldn’t lay my fingers on them at 2 in the morning. This mirror is in the Altenburg Foods grocery store that closed for good shortly after I photographed it.

Barbershop when I had hair

10-24-2011This was taken in what used to be Ed Unger’s Stylerite Barber Shop on Sprigg Street. I used to get my hair cut there when I still had some to cut.

Departure selfies

Mary Steinhoff Ken Steinhoff 11-25-2013Since I’m usually leaving Cape by myself, I’ve had to start resorting to selfies to get the departure shot with Mother. This is the last one I took, and the one I mentioned in my confession above. It was taken November 25, 2013. To see some of the others, you’ll have to go to the gallery below. I need longer arms or a wider lens.

Ken’s photo gallery

Here’s a gallery of me getting older and grayer in my self-portraits. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery. Now that I am out of denial, I’ll refrain from making fun of other folks who take pictures of themselves.

Delta High School Basketball

Delta High School basketball at Houck Field HouseThese photos show Delta High School playing a team with uniforms that don’t have a school name on them. The assumption must have been that if you bothered to show up for the game that you’d know who was playing. A cheerleader’s sweater in one of the frames has a big “N” on it surrounded by what might be a “D,” which would probably make it Notre Dame.

Beyond that, you are on your own.

Delta photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to navigate through the gallery.

December 1966 Basketball

Dec 1966 basketball tournament at SEMOThe sleeve is marked December 1966 Basketball. Since there are a variety of teams all jumbled together, I’m assuming it is the annual Christmas Tourney or the College High Tournament. I can’t remember if they were one and the same or if they were two different meets.

Anyway, the film was in pretty bad shape. Some of the frames were clean and sharp; others were fogged and had something that looked like an amoeba growing on it. I cropped the frames a little loose because I thought I could almost recognize some of the spectators.

Basketball photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the side to move through the gallery.

Ron Smith – Fan of Year

Ron Smith was one of those quiet gentle souls who seems to float through high school without making any waves. I’ve often wondered what happened to him. Everyone knew who he was, but I don’t think many people, including me, could say they knew him.

I shot him at a basketball tournament at Houck Field House on Feb. 27, 1967.

This photo ran in the March 1 Missourian with the caption, “Fan of the Year: You see him at every sporting event, whether it be baseball, basketball, football, track, or even swimming. It makes no difference whether it’s high school, college, or junior high. Ron Smith (shown holding radio), a junior at Central High School, was recently presented the “fan of the year” award by State College’s Varsity Club.

Ron Smith died November 8

Judy Kurre Ringwald passed on the sad news that Ron died Nov. 8, 2012.

Here is his obituary from the Nov. 11 Missourian: Ronald Roy Smith, 63, of Belleview, Mo., passed away Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, at Belleview Valley Nursing Home. He was a longtime nursing home resident, having spent most of his time at Belleview Valley Nursing Home where he was loved by staff and residents.

He was born November 13, 1948, in Cape Girardeau, Mo., to Roy and Hulda Vasterling Smith. He was a graduate of Cape Girardeau Central High School and a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau. In his teens, he was an avid sports fan, following local high school and college teams and the Capahas. Smith especially loved the St. Louis Cardinals and didn’t miss listening to or watching most of their games.

Loving survivors include one sister, Rosalee (Everett) Plunk of Cape Girardeau; one brother, Ray (Linda) Smith of Scott City; nieces and nephews, Marla (Maury) Taylor, Crystal (Justin) Smith both of Cape Girardeau, Mike (Nancy) Plunk of Lake St. Louis, Mo., Kim (Brad) Schiwitz of Frisco, Tex., Ray (Brittney) Smith of Jackson; great-nieces and nephews, Christina (Lee) Dodd, Haley and Hayden Dodd all of Scott City, Jennifer Boren of Lake St. Louis, Mo., Mackenzie and Mason Smith of Jackson, and Elizabeth Smith of Cape Girardeau. He was preceded in death by his parents.

It must have been a slow game

When you look at your film and see pictures of fans like Ron and Notre Dame Cheerleader Cathy, you can surmise that the action must have been pretty slow. If you haven’t bagged something at least half-way interesting by the end of the first quarter, you start looking around for sports feature shots. (As always, you can click on any shot to make it larger.)

Yep, pretty dull

I can see why I was looking for features. This was about the best action I had from the game.