Patterson Came to Haunt Me Via the Dewdney Trunk RoadMonday, February 03, 2020
|Myriam - Mission BC - February 02 2020
During my two years as a conscript in the Argentine Navy I hated the fact that at least three times a year we were sent for a few days of boot camp. We were at the mercy of cruel non-commissioned officers who would make us crawl on mud. But now, all these years later I can understand what the reason for those refreshers were all about.
When I began shooting for magazines in Vancouver in the late 70s I was aware that I could not make mistakes with my assignments. There was a lot of competition and I just might not get another phone call for work.
I developed a system of taking two of everything for any job and the night before I would pack my equipment and then sleep badly as I went through that mental check-up really not that much different from airline pilots doing their stuff before they take off.
But no matter how careful I was I just might forget an important flash cord or not have enough film or a battery for my most important flash/light meter giving out at the time of the job.
This sort of thing cemented in my mind that legendary (but somehow unknown man) called Patterson who invented Patterson’s Law. This law stated that Murphy was an optimist.
Now in my dotage at 77 I don’t shoot outside my house much. If I forget something in my studio I know where to find it.
That was not the case yesterday when I drove to Mission, BC to photograph a lovely Belgian woman called Myriam.
First I had to deal with the fact that I would have to drive part of the way on that terrible meandering (I believe it ends somewhere in the Yukon) Dewdney Trunk Road. I was so spooked that I stopped near Coquitlam Centre to fill my tank in case I got lost far from the civilization of available gas stations.When I arrived at my destination I discovered:
1. I had the lens for my digital Fuji X-E3 but no camera body.
2. The important flash cord that mates my Metz portable studio light to my camera was not the correct one.
This meant that with my three cameras available (two 35 mm Nikon FM-2s, on Mamiya RB-67) I would have to expose two of them (the Mamiya and one Nikon) to exposures of 3 seconds or more as the Rollei Infrared (not) film was rated at 100ISO and my only light besides de cloudy day window light was the dim hot light of my studio light. There were about three pictures that approached almost (but not quite) being okay.
I was saved from total perdition by that third camera. In that Nikon FM-2 I had Kodak Portra 800 which I usually push one stop to 1600. The photographs I took with it were reasonably nice. I may have been saved by the unusual results (they are always surprisingly unusual) shots with my no SIM card camera my iPhone3G.