December 18, 2008

John H. Gohde – Sports Photographer

Posted in authored by John Gohde tagged , at 12:19 am by John Gohde

John H. Gohde took sports pictures while he was in college. Started out on cross-country races. Then progressed to photographing both football and basketball games. His pictures were rather popular amongst the male athletes. And, John got a bunch of his pictures published in all four of his college yearbooks.

Finding encouragement in photographing cross-country races, John started to take pictures of football games. His pictures were so bad in his freshmen year, that they were actually very distinctive looking. It is called reticulation. Composition wise the pictures were good. But John’s first few football games suffered from reticulation that was caused by poor temperature control of the different chemical baths that he had used to develop his 35 mm film with. Whenever there is a sudden change in temperature from one bath to the next during film development it results in reticulation or grainy looking negatives.

John H. Gohde‘s early football pictures suffered from an extreme case of reticulation. They were so bad that they actually had a very distinctive grainy look to them. While many photographers back then actually tried to intentional produce reticulation in order to create an artistic effect, in John’s case, it was strictly a case of sloppy darkroom work accidentally creating an interesting look. John eventually figured out what the problem was. He was privately embarrassed about them, and over the next three years never produced any more reticulation in his negatives. But, his grainy pictures got published in the yearbook none the less.

As a football photographer, John got away with walking up and down the football field on the sidelines taking pictures during the course of the game. He had a view of football games that most spectators sitting in the bleachers never got to see. Plus, in many cases was able to make out some rather interesting expressions on the faces of his classmates sitting on the bleachers while developing enlargements. Use of a medium length telephoto lens creates a rather interesting optical effect on distant objects like people’s faces.



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