Perfection - July 30 2005Saturday, February 29, 2020
|Rebecca Anne Stewart 7, July 30 2005|
These days, of going over my thousands of pictures in an attempt to compact my output so that when I die my daughters will find it easier to throw it all away, I have been stuck in reflection. I have a good memory but my memory fails on the true output.
I have an iconic photograph that I took of my granddaughter Rebecca (7 going on 8) on July 30th in the morning in my Robson Street & Granville studio. My daughter Ale did the makeup. I used my Mamiya RB-67 and took pictures with Kodak Plus-X and Ektachrome 100. I shot one b+w Polaroid and took slides of the makeup session. The date stamped on the slides is August 2.
There is an explanation. July 30 was a Saturday. August 1 was a holiday, BC day. I dropped off the film probably that evening at George King and the film was processed on Tuesday August 2.
The tight horizontal picture in the top middle of the first b+w contact sheet became an iconic photograph for me. I first colourized it red. It was the introduction to my show at Sergio Patrich’s gallery on 4th avenue in late 2005. Rabbi Yosef Wosk paid $3500 for it because he thought the image was transcendental.
That picture is the lead photograph for my web page. Four weeks ago my friend Curtis Daily communicated that the picture was gone from the web page and in its place was a white rectangle with coding. I went to Skunkworks Design who did my web page and they have been able to deal with the problem of aging coding. The photograph is back.
This next week they are going to show me how to save (in a cloud I would believe) what they call my Smithsonian-sized blog which including this one adds up to 4990. My Rosemary believes that my blog is more representative of my legacy as it will be treasured by my family and friends.
When I look at these pictures of Rebecca I think that they are perfect. Interesting to me is that in a studio where I had varied kinds of photographic lighting, the iconic shot and the second one in colour were only lit by the light being reflected from the Sears/Eaton building across the street . It was magical light that architect Arthur Erickson when he came to my studio at least twice called God’s Light care of Cesar Pelli (the Argentine architect of the building).
When I look at these pictures of Rebecca I think like that New Testament parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. The Publican does not dare look up at the altar as he feels he is not worthy. The Pharisee points out to God that he has given all the necessary tithes to please Him. He thanks Him for not being that poor Publican.
I feel like a sensitive, 21st century Pharisee. I am aware at how lucky I have been to have found my calling as a photographer. But best of all among all those famous people I photographed I happened to have struck Pharisee gold with the privilege and pleasure of taking photographs of that remarkable girl/woman that was and is Rebecca.
My Rosemary has given me the following advice as I thin out the output, “Pick the best and throw the rest.”
Looking at these would anybody feel comfortable throwing any of them away?
As for Rebecca she has left something in me that will forever be in my heart. I feel like that Publican unable to look up and to thank God.