Fulfillment through Photography Presented by Al Wolsky

Al Wolsky discusses his exploits as a photographer at Youville House on Wednesday, March 11th

Remember when our cameras needed us to twist dials and set apertures?  When lugging camera equipment was equal to a workout? When bright orange boxes of film were standard on any trip, and the wait for those precious photos to be developed seemed interminable?

Al Wolsky, a dedicated photography buff and collector of vintage Leica cameras, brought memories of these “good old days” to life in a recent evening presentation for residents at Youville House. The presentation began with Al’s description of his experiences taking and developing photos. As his descriptions became more detailed, many residents in attendance connected with their own vivid memories of those bygone days.  Al also shared his extensive collection of camera equipment. The audience watched with hushed admiration as he unscrewed lenses and opened up the backs of the cameras to reveal beautiful mechanical simplicity and the precision craftsmanship of each piece.

Al’s presentation combined a passion for vintage camera equipment with vivid stories. He shared a portfolio of black and white photographs he had developed himself, spanning a decade. There was growing excitement among the residents as handling the beautiful photos stirred memories and personal experiences of their own.

The old model cameras – many of which can be found today in museums – had unexpected stories connected to them. Al related how, during World War II, brand name camera forgeries abounded. The stories of these “fakes” became mysteries in their own right, evolving into detective stories and historical dramas. While telling these tales, Al managed to artfully incorporate his family history using the aid of a family photo album. 

 Fulfillment through Photography evokeda magical time in many people’s lives reminding us how photography offered a special way to stay connected to moments in time.

-Ildiko Szabo, Community Life Coordinator

Al Woslky will give this presentation again at Youville Place on Wednesday, March 25th.