The Exciting Photographic Possibilities For 2020Friday, December 27, 2019
In waning days of the year I have the urge to call up people I have not seen or heard from for years. Because many have abandoned their landlines Canada 411 is of no use to find them. Some of these people from my life are irrevocably lost. But I am not the only one with this customary year-end desire. I have received a few calls and emails out of the blue.
One of them was a local photographer who told me about our Vancouver photography scene as it was (the good old days?) and how so much had changed. I discerned a considerable level of melancholy and I did my best to sound positive.
Sounding positive about photography in this 21st century for young photographers getting out of school has to be real downer. There are few magazines or newspapers to hire them and stock photo agencies sell pictures so that these new photographers are not sent to Paris or London to take photographs.
For me, since I am obsolete, redundant, retired & inconsequential, I am not affected by the above. I am settled with my Rosemary in our Kits digs and we don’t need anything.
With that in mind I can assert here most positively that photography for me is alive and well and full of boundless possibilities.
Looking at a photograph of mine (either a scanned film one or from my digital Fuji X-E1) on my monitor, fixing it to my liking and then pressing print, in a few minutes my Canon Pro-1 spits it out exactly as I see it in my monitor. I need not make another. One is sufficient.
While that is not a darkroom printed photograph (in an unventilated darkroom that mine always were) it is a very good facsimile of the real thing. I do this in daylight with a pleasant mug of tea on my desk while looking out of the window of my oficina on the garden that has been put to bed.
I do not feel guilty.
And then there are all the advances of this century’s technology. Who would have thought 10 years ago that I would pack my compact Metz BL-400 in my hard suitcase with a Manfrotto light stand that fits (even though it extends to 7 ft) and a small Chimera soft box? The folks at airport security ask for an explanation and they invariably smile when I tell them that I am traveling with a studio in my carry on! With that unit, my digital camera (an extra Fuji-X-E1 as backup) and my Minolta Flash Meter III all is possible.
Who would have known that Rosemary and I could travel to Venice and to visit our friend, period cellist Claudio Ronco, (and his wife Emanuela Vozza who also plays the cello) and to photograph him with a studio light by a canal? We used a not very long extension cord from his kitchen window.
Then a few months later in Buenos Aires I had no problem with the 220 voltage of my native city as the Metz can handle both 110 and 220. I purposely and severely underexposed my Fuji X-E3 to get the effect you see here of my niece María Catalina O'Reilly.
The image of Olena by our Chickering is something that I could have never really done with film. I played with the Degrees Kelvin colour temperature and with window light I achieved that pristine almost white skin so difficult to do in the past.
For me these three images show that I have lots of exciting possibilities in this coming year.