Six-ShootersThursday, July 21, 2016
|Rick Etkin jpg, July 20, 2016|
A couple of weeks ago I ran into photographer Larry Goldstein at Southlands Nursery. As we chatted I realized how much I missed and miss my contemporaries of a photographic heyday that preceded the proliferation of the camera with the accessory phone.
And so I came up with the idea of inviting a few of them to my home so we could shoot the bulb (only those who preceded the camera with the accessory phone will understand that expression) to our heart’s content and compare notes about how we had huge day rates and were sent abroad on shooting assignments.
We had our pleasant barbecue with wine and beer yesterday (Wednesday).
Besides Larry Goldstein I invited Hans Sipma, Rick Etkin, Roger Brooks and Heather Dean. It was Etkin who pointed out that this bunch of old timers (Dean excepted as she just turned 30 and who happens to have a 15-year-old son) were in the original CAPIC members of yore.
Of the six (I must include myself) the bravest is Dean who used to hang out of helicopters in rigs that would induce vertigo on anybody. She took the ultimate photograph of the Shaughnessy Crescent (an oval not quite round park) and risked being shot down by police helicopters when she and her pilot husband skimmed Wreck Beach for a photograph for Malcolm Parry’s Vancouver Magazine.
Of Larry Goldstein, a self-effacing photographer who says he doesn’t shoot far out stuff but pleases all his clients with efficiency, accuracy I can only add that if most photographers were like him we would be considered a likeable bunch.
Rick Etkin is always ahead of everybody in cutting edge technology with the possible exception of Hans Sipma. Etkin was the first local photographer with a cell phone and he was and is the kind of photographer with a studio that makes those of us who work out of our home drool. As far as I can tell he is the only photographer in this city who ever bragged in his web page that he could photograph from the smallest to the largest and mentioned locomotives on the way.
Roger Brooks is the kind of interiors and architectural photographer who happens to know his craft because he studied to be a civil engineer but then decided to chuck the bridges and take the kind of shots that until the advent of digital cameras made his kind of photography extremely difficult and very hard to light correctly. But even though he made and makes lots of money he did lose his shirt once and took a most artistic kind of photograph of the lost shirt that was the marvel of light and composition.
Hans Sipma would be a millionaire if he had not squandered for so many years his hard-earned money from ad agency jobs in very expensive Italian bicycles and the clothing getup that accompanied them. Sipma may have been the first (and last as nobody could top the shot) to make the Vancouver Planetarium almost make it to the Kuiper Belt with rockets in one of the most memorable manipulated photographs I have ever seen. When you talk to Sipma (and Brooks, too) you realize that he is a seriously funny guy.
|Sitting- Rick Etkin & yours truly, Standing from left, Larry Goldstein, Roger Brooks, Heather Dean & Hans Sipma - Photograph by Rosemary Waterhouse-Hayward|
The best has to be last and that’s Heather Dean. I once had the luck of traveling next to her both ways from Vancouver to Calgary. It was (and still) is remarkable how a person allergic to everything except rice cakes and tinned pears can look so wholesomely healthy. Her ah-shucks and most pleasant smile almost manage to hide her prodigious skill in her camera work.
Watching these four (Dean like me is a bit high-tech deficient) do stuff with their cameras that have a phone as an accessory made me feel like Graham Greene. Of Greene, Paul Theroux said, “An Edwardian on a Concorde.” I felt completely out of their league and particularly in how Etkin took a picture of my picture with my venerable medium format camera (that alas! has no accessory phone attached) and instantly posted it into Instagram and shared it with all of us on the spot.
I did not sleep well last night. Two photographers, Etkin and Sipma were whispering in my ear, “Don’t shoot JPGs. Shoot RAW.”
The evening was so pleasant that I am sure we will all meet again and soon. If Etkin has his say it will be a baker's dozen.