That Recurring Leaky Tank ProblemThursday, July 16, 2009
Ever since I can remember there was one word problem in school which I despised since no matter how they hid its core with words it was always a leaky tank problem. So much water (gallons per minute) is going into a tub that has no stopper. So much water is going out of it (gallons per hour). The question was always the same. Will the tub stabilize, empty or overflow?
This problem is one that hits us all in finances, in mortgage payments and just about everything else. It doesn’t take a computer spread sheet to tell me that if the money going into my monthly studio does not exceed the money going out I am going to have an empty tub very soon. And so I have decided to let go of my studio in the next few months.
I can rationalize that the little work that I do in it like lawyer or businessman web portraits I can do in their offices. All I need is a blank wall and to trudge over with my lighting equipment. Those Ministers of Parliament (NDP) that hire my services every once in a while since they know I can make them look honest, incisive and intelligent will have to pay extra for me to secure a day’s studio rental. I don’t see the problem there.
Rosemary saw this coming a few years ago but kept playing around with our money because she thought (rightly at the time) that a studio is part of a photographer’s pride of profession.
For a long time a big chunk of studio money came from my arts photos for the Georgia Straight. That has stopped as the publication has found the cheaper route of either demanding handout art or expecting it staff writers to take the pictures. I don’t see that publication suddenly turning around that mandate.
If there is anything of what I do that may suffer in not having my own studio, it is the personal work that I rely on to keep me on my toes and to keep at bay the tendency of age to deaden passion.
But the personal work now is either the studio portrait of my granddaughters or my work with the undraped human body. Cases in point are these pictures of Lisa Ha, a Vietnamese/Canadian subject of mine that sporadically frequents my studio. These I took a couple of weeks ago. I like to record the change of time. I may have last photographed her about 4 years ago. The next time will probably have to be in my living room or in my garden or in her apartment. I can assert that environmental photographs can have their charm, too.
Best of all I will take my grandmother’s advice to heart, “Nadie te quita lo bailado,” Nobody can take away from you the dances that you have danced.
more Lisa Ha.