April in November Amidst a Lost GalaxySaturday, November 17, 2018
|April on Vine|
This week has been an unsettling week of turmoil for me. Three days ago I dropped my phone (it fell out of a shirt pocket) on a back alley.
Unlike years before I did not feel the heart wrenching loss of having my computer die and be told that the hard drive is gone and all the stuff in it, too.
This time around my losses would be (and were) WattsApp contacts. Since I never used my Galaxy S-5 as a camera there were no photographs lost.
I figured if I got the same phone again (bought outright from Telus) that I would be back where I was, comfortably.
That was not so as the same phone now has “improved” apps which to me means more complicated. I have managed to renew my contacts and even (I am really proud of this) to pair the phone with our Chevrolet Cruze.
There was one very good result of my loss. For two days I finished the complete short stories of Julio Cortázar (in Spanish) and most of his poetic output. I had withdrawal symptoms in the morning around 7 when I normally switched on the phone and connect to CNN to see what new blunder was emanating from the White House. I also had the custom of reading some of the next day’s op-eds in the NY Times on line the night before.
I have now resolved to lay off the phone and read more. The one sad fact is that I have nobody around to share my thoughts on Cortázar. So many of his stories so depend on the manipulation of Argentine Spanish that few of his stories have been translated.
It is in times like these that I go to my origins. Take as an example this blog which is illustrated by photographs I took of April around 1978. She posed for me on Wreck Beach and with her I took my first nudes which weren’t all that bad. I used three types of films, One was Kodak colour negative film and the other two were Kodak Special Order 410 and Kodak Black+White Infrared film.
Life in 1978 was much simpler (but I did carry a pager or beeper as they were sometimes called). My equipment was simpler. For these photographs I used a Pentax S-3 and a Pentax Spotmatic F. Both had the venerable screw thread of my venerable first camera (it is fully operational) a Pentacon-F.
Light in 1978 was simpler, too. I did not yet have a really good studio (the one I did have was in the basement of our Burnaby home). From the very beginning of my photograph (with a definite interest in human beings, not things) I have adored window lighting. All you see here came from a house that was on Vine Street in Kitsilano, a block away from the Safeway on 4th. I believe that April may have been the girl of Jerry who lived there. He was a downhome relaxed kind of guy (did not smoke pot as far as I could tell).
I like these photographs which I have picked so as not to show stuff that might offend those who now live in this 21st century.
Because since 1961 when I first started processing my film at home I have always washed and washed my film to remove all traces of fixer. I am happy to report that these 39-year-old negatives are pristine.