A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

A Photographer Photographs
Wednesday, September 11, 2013



A photographer photographs.





To do this a photographer has to have a camera. It has been many years since I left my house with a camera for those just-in-case moments or simply with the purpose of taking pictures that might interest me on the way somewhere. In my youth when I was in my early 20s and particularly when I lived in Mexico, which was exotic even though I had been there for many years there was always something that would spark my interest. I felt naked without the weight of my Pentacon-F or my newer Pentax S-3 around my neck. A camera, particularly these all-metal ones had heft and there was an impression that when I pressed the shutter button it was the beginning of an act of magic that would progress from the latent image in the negative to the backwards reality of the properly developed negative. From there, I would face the magical ending of seeing the image emerge in the developer bath.

With the ubiquity of people with cameras I am not sure if my initial statement, “A photographer photographs,” is valid now. Should this definition of mine be amended?

My 2007 Chevrolet Malibu sports a small Municipal Plate on its windshield. For about $235 I can legally park in back alleys and loading zones for 30 minutes for the purposes of loading or unloading. For many of us who have these plates it is normal procedure to abuse the privilege. I know all the safe spots in Vancouver where parking enforcement of Municipal Plate abuse is nonexistent (or almost so). I can abuse the city statutes for a whole year without getting a ticket.

This means that my Malibu is often parked in seedy back alleys. Nobody has ever broken into my car.

There is one back alley off Davie and Granville where I park when I go to Leo’s Camera. It was not too long ago that when I locked my car I noticed this doorway. While ignorant of the man’s talent I do know enough to surmise the man on the door is Nick Cave.  Just once, I took out the only camera I was carrying at the time, my iPhone 3G and I snapped.  Three days later the door was painted white.



     

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