Photos from the sixties

bil paul’s photographs of the 1960s — an exuberant era

A little about the photographer

I grew up in a small town in western Wisconsin and have returned to living in a small town.

I earned my first camera by selling magazine subscriptions on a newspaper route. That lead to setting up a simple darkroom while in high school. I eventually drifted west to San Francisco to attend college. Meanwhile, I had become excited about making movies, and managed to shoot a documentary while serving in the Army in Viet Nam. Upon my return in 1968, I completed the film while working on my filmmaking degree. The 15-minute Viet Nam film is offered here at no cost.

At the same time I was rekindling my interest in still photography, re-establishing a darkroom and becoming more proficient. I began selling some of my images of be-ins and protests to underground newspapers, and occasionally to aboveground newspapers and wire services. In 1972 I self-published a photo book of my sixties photos (The Tri-X Chronicles)..

Even after so many years, I still have all my photographic negatives, and finally decided to construct this Web site with the help of my son Bruce. I’m especially interested in depicting the sixties to those who were born later and have only heard a little about the original hippies, the music, and the protests. Also, I think that many of you who lived during the sixties will enjoy reliving the era.

After I finished college, my day job was with the Postal Service, and I ended up making that my career. I continued to do a lot of photography and darkroom work, though it tended to be less journalistic and more personal. I was only too glad to switch to digital photography (and eliminate long darkroom stints) when digital attained a high level of quality. And, of course, it offered inexpensive color.

I am married to my indulgent wife Lorraine and we have a daughter and two sons.

bil paul
Dixon, California