Law Office and Photography Services on Gabriola Island

What started this whole adventure?

I suppose you could go way back and say the adventure started when I got my first camera, or when I moved to Vancouver, or when kisses were discovered, or when the first hippie was born. More recently, though, the adventure started around the beginning of 2016, when I got the results of paying a slide-scanning service to digitize about 800 slides. Those slides haven’t (yet) been thrown out, and currently they look like this:


You might see that a couple of those bundles of slides (each containing thirty to forty slides) refer to “Vancouver 1971”. One of those bundles contains the three slides that became the single image for this little adventure.

Lacking anything better to do (or avoiding tasks that I should have been doing, and instead choosing to play with photography software), I reviewed some of those digital images around October of 2022, with particular attention to the pictures of the kissing couple in Gastown.

Just how many pictures is/was it?

I took several photographs that day (I have no idea how many, but I’m quite sure I took more than one or two). In fact, I took at least three, being these three:

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I did not have a broad array of lenses, and looking at those three pictures, I’d guess that I was shooting with a 50mm or longer lens. The result was that I couldn’t get the entire scene into one photograph. It’s also possible that my shyness at the time resulted in a few quick pictures that might not have even been carefully aimed. I was, literally, shooting “from the hip”. Those three photographs were eventually stitched into a single picture. That resulting single picture had the back wall filled-in, thanks to Lightroom’s intelligent panorama stitching software.

What was I using?

I’m pretty sure I was shooting a Pentax SP500 back then (in or around 1971). I don’t think I have any way of knowing for sure. I originally thought I was using Kodachrome at that time, as it was usually my film of choice. I certainly know it was slide film, because this picture is from slide film. Looking at my slides, though, I see that the results of my photography that day (or week, or whatever) were packaged in Mortifee cardboard. In other words, the slides didn’t come back to me in standard Kodachrome “slide cardboard”. That’s what makes me think the film might have been something other than Kodachrome.

What do I remember? Not much!

I’ve been asked a few times, about what I remember about taking that photograph. Quite honestly, I don’t remember taking the picture, even though I do know I took it (look elsewhere, by the way, for a clarification of “the picture” and “the photographs&rdquoWinking. If you were to ask me if I ever saw a couple in Gastown in the early seventies, offering kisses for money, I’d say yes: that much I do recall. Beyond that, though, I can’t recall any details, and I can only create an accurate memory by interpolating and extrapolating from the little bit I do know.