I bought my first ‘enlarger,’ a Testrite, with six and a half Green Stamp books from my Mother and six books from my best friend Norm’s Mom in 1962.
The word ‘enlarger’ here is being entirely charitable. The device did project light …less as a projector and much as a street lamp, that is in all directions due to imperfections and light leaks in Testrite’s construction. As such, Norm and my prints always had a full grayscale. We just couldn’t figure out why we had no whites.
Our vaunted Testrite ‘lens,’ was made of plastic, probably recycled from the bottom of a Coca Cola bottle. With this, we then learned the meaning of diffusion despite our many attempts to make our images sharper.
Thus began my career as a professional photographer.