Through the Lens of Memory

Photo taken by DeeDee, a woman in her mid-thirties from upstate New York who struggles with bipolar disorder and ADD. As is often the case with bipolar, her life has many ups and downs and can feel like a daily roller coaster. She enjoys photography, especially experimenting with different cameras and film.

About this photo: “Even after 5 years, at times I still pine for my former home, 500 miles away. Even the park where we used to take the dog to play is laden with memories and emotion. On a good day, I remember it fondly with smiles – the sunny days full of laughter, wildflowers growing behind the backstop for the baseball diamond, wild raspberries that stained our fingers. On a bad day, I remember gray skies and slushy snow, slipping on the overgrown stairs down from the big hill, the emptiness of the playing field, the fact that the dog has since passed on. 

This photo was made with an Agfa Isolette folder camera, produced circa 1945-1950, my first vintage camera and a gift from a grad school classmate. Old cameras are good for tinkering and can often be repaired by an amateur with little trouble. I spent hours lovingly reconditioning the Isolette to full functionality: spot-patching the bellows and deconstructing the lens assembly to clean, lube, and refocus it. Unfortunately, the camera’s shutter leaves have since locked up again, and I haven’t had the wherewithal to try to fix it.”


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