I don't know if everyone else thinks the same way but I find that I like to go back to stuff I did a long time ago and see how it compares to the stuff I'm doing now. In many instances I'm disappointed with what I'm doing now when I see the images I made when I was just 24 and very new to the field of photography.
This image shouldn't look as good as it does. I shot it in my first, tiny studio using just the light coming in from a smallish window. I used color negative film in a very old and beaten to shit Mamiya 220 that I bought already quite used. The lens on the front was a 135mm f5.6 of questionable repair. Sometimes the shutter would stick. I had the camera stuck on the world's rickety-est tripod. It was the only one I could afford at the time and I found it on the "bargain" table of an ancient photography store on Congress Ave. that was in the process of going out of business. As bad as it was that tripod made my hand me down meter look good.
Finally, I was given to believe two things that have turned out not to be true. One is that C-41 color negative film from the late 1970's would not keep. The pundits of the day estimated that it would fade over time and become thin and unusable. This negative is still lively and effulgent. The other thing I had been led to believe, throughout the last decade, is that decent film scans just could not (for many arcane, technical reasons) be created on cheap, consumer flatbed scanners.
In spite of, or perhaps because of, all these things I never expected to like the final image as much as I do. Of course, part of that appreciation of the image is just the habit of being in love and the critical blindness that ensues.
With no doubt, my favorite portrait. Would I have done better with the latest digital wunder-kamera? How would you measure "better"?