Skinning a Cat - Camellia x williamsii 'Donation'Monday, April 09, 2018
|Camellia x williamsii 'Donation' April 9, 2018, Fuji FP-100C Instant Film|
The proliferation of digital cameras and camera phones has pretty well killed the concept of street photography. If Cartier-Bresson were to step into a time machine and come to contemporary Vancouver he would be on employment insurance within a month.
Sometime around 1988 my Rosemary took me to a Vancouver Rose Society meeting at the Floral Hall of VanDusen Botanical Garden. The chairs were uncomfortable and after listening to the minutes of a previous meeting the lights were turned off and more than 100 slides of roses, mostly closeups were projected. Angrily I told Rosemary, “You have brought me here to sit on uncomfortable chairs and to look at bad slides of Roses?”
|Fuji FP-100C Instant Film scanned negative peel|
Since then I have developed an interest in going to meetings as 1988 marked the date when I became obsessed with roses and particularly old roses. But I swore never to photograph roses.
I have kept mostly to that promise to myself by having scanned not only all the roses of our former big Kerrisdale garden but also all manner of Rosemary’s interesting perennials. I scan the flowers and plants at 100% size for accuracy and I use higher resolution settings, around 1000dpi. These scans I store as tiffs in my computer, in CDS and in a backup exterior hard drive.
|Fuji X-E1 with Nikon 50mm F-1.4 lens wide open April 7, 2018|
Then this happened.
When me moved from Kerrisdale to our present duplex in Kitsilano we had to play a botanical Noah’s Ark. We could not bring everything. Many plants, those hardy enough to survive the Zone 4 of my eldest daughter’s (Alexandra) in Lillooet, BC (which included the very hardy Gallica Roses we transported in a big van twice.
|Scan March 29 2018|
We had four Camellias. We chose one for our garden. It is the lovely Camellia x williamsii ‘Donation’. Alas last spring the buds fell off. Rosemary was very depressed. I told her to be patient. This year it has gloriously bloomed (right now).
A few weeks ago I scanned the first bloom. But that scan does not show the bush in its present splendour.
So I decided to photograph a cluster of the flowers using my Fuji X-E1 with its special adapter to mount my old, very fast, Nikon 50mm f-1.4. Perhaps Should have used a tripod to nail the very shallow focusing that happens when a lens like that is used wide open.
I was disappointed.
Then I took out my Mamiya RB-67 Pro- SD with a 140mm floating element lens and put the Polaroid back (now for what’s left of my reserve Fuji Instant FP-100C film. I was very careful as it had to be a one shot deal. I believe it was. What you see here is a scan of the print and a scan of the negative peel reversed in Photoshop.
But I did not have to show the pictures to Rosemary knowing she would tell me, “You cannot see Donation in context with our house.” So I took the photograph.
|Fuji X-E1 April 9 2018|
I believe that my many years in magazine photography taught me that there was more than one way to skin a cat. That Fujiroid print scan is pretty nice.