Mr. Murphy & Mr. PattersonTuesday, September 10, 2019
As a freelance photographer in Vancouver the first thing in my mind before going on an assignment was the fact that any kind of failure meant elimination from the roster of useable photographers in the offices of art directors.
This meant that I always took two of everything, just in case. I remember that once in Calgary for a magazine assignment, the body of my Mamiya RB failed. I did not despair and had a taxi go to a hock shop to pick up a used one which I purchased on the phone with a credit card.
In photography some of us swore by Patterson’s Law of Photography in which an unknown Patterson stipulated that Mr. Murphy of Murphy’s Law was indeed an optimist.
Going to Buenos Aires in a few days means that I have to think of spare batteries for my two digital cameras, brand new storage cards that I have previously formatted, a charger for those batteries, and because I am taking a very good portable studio light, spare cables, modeling light bulbs and an extra flash tube.
All that would be for naught if I didn’t also think of the little device that sits on my camera and connects via a wire to the studio light. Should the battery in it fail there would be no way of firing the flash. Changing the spare battery implies using a very small Phillips (a Canadian probably related to Patterson) screwdriver. And so it goes.
The reason for my concern is that this man (me) does not usually shootweddings but I am in a way shooting one. My niece Milagros (complete first name María de los Milagros) O’Reilly is getting married in a sumptuous church wedding and after the ceremony the reception will be at the ultra-neo-baroque Círculo Militar opposite la Plaza San Martín. When Argentine generals had command of the nation (most of the 20th century) they may have plotted their coups and revolutions over good wine surrounded by luxury. Now the generals are no longer an important part of governing Argentina so the hard-pressed milicos (as Argentines say as a most negative epithet of them) must resort to renting out the place.
I remember when I was a conscript in the Argentine Navy that there was a scandal courtesy of the visiting Prince Phillip who cornered some generals and asked them, "When are you chaps going to have the next coup?"
I plan to stay out of the way of the official photographer and will look for a nice corner to take my shots of the couple and then with Mili’s four sisters and then with Mili’s four sisters and brother and who knows what else I will be asked to shoot.
My Rosemary inherited (I don’t quite understand exactly how) my grandmother’s talent for compact packing. She will pack and the morning of our flight out of Vancouver I will take Niño and Niña to the Kerrisdale Feline Hilton, While this breaks Rosemary’s heart she knows that they take care of them well even though they do not get breakfast in bed.
Today I was the first to show up at Indigo on Broadway and Granville, to pick up Margaret Atwood’s latest. You can guess where I will read it. The other book I written by my Manhattan friend Jerome Charyn. With a 14 hour flight from Toronto to Buenos Aires, these two books will be good company,