A Bassist's HandsThursday, November 29, 2018
In my long search and interest in the photographic portrait I long time ago realized that important to any portrait was the addition of my subject’s hands. A pair of hands can cover a face. Hands are big and reveal a lot about the person. But hands have to be photographed in a relaxing, calming, graceful and elegant, unless of course, the tightening of fingers and knuckles are part of the message of a portrait.
In the last few weeks I have been thinking about the hands of musicians. Certain musical instruments can affect the look of a person’s hands. Just like ballerinas never want anybody to see their feet perhaps a string bassist’s hands can be similarly compared. And yet.
When former Vancouver Symphony bassist Patricia Hutter (she was down the block from our house in Kerrisdale) posed for me, I asked her to do so in her bedroom. She is an American from New York so somehow she was not bothered by my request.
I believe that this portrait of her has to be (and I must confess that I did not have that intention) one of the most erotic I have ever taken. I think it is due to the strength and beauty of her hands (and fingers!) and that left foot of hers on the bed finishes it off.
My friend Curtis Daily, a Portland baroque bassist is a very good amateur photographer and of course a superb musician. He posed for me because he requested.
I took the photographs. One in particular was a Fuji B+W Instant Film peel. It was very good (from my point of view). But I was not prepared to see what it looked when I printed it as an inkjet. Somehow Daly’s hands were in three dimensions.