A Doubly Exposed Tannia - My Camera Was HumanWednesday, June 10, 2020
In this blog I wrote about the most serious putdown I have ever received as a human being.
For the years as a Vancouver magazine photographer I knew that because of the hefty competition I could not rest on my laurels. I had to come up with new ideas and new techniques. And most important was the realization that if I made a single mistake I would not be re-hired. Perhaps Ana Victoria in Oaxaca was right that I was a human trying to be a machine like my camera.
Now in this 21st century there is a longing for the simpler times, times that were slow (at least for those who remember that rosy past) and in photography there is a film and film camera comeback. This is good as we must take advantage of all the methods that are open for us in photography. But sometimes I believe that there is so much emphasis on the type of camera, the kind of film used and experiments with unusual methods of developing it, that one can forget the inherent possibility of the quality of an image if it is the result of cerebral (machine-like?) thought.
Many years ago as I was struggling to find ways of taking photographs of women that went along with 20th century mindset called “glamour” I photographed Tannia. She was also the first to pose for me in the best room of the Marble Arch Hotel in which I began to explore my ideas of the eroticism of taking pictures of a beautiful woman in a seedy hotel.
In one of those preliminary photographs of Tannia I inadvertently took one double exposure. My Mamiya RB-67 had an almost foolproof device to prevent such uncontrolled exposures to happen.
But happen it did to my delight (only a recent delight that I have noticed).
Perhaps it has all to do with the fact that as a retired perfectionist magazine photographer I have fallen into that comfortable niche of thinking that I am an artist.
As for Tannia, I am now aware how much she must have suffered in my bumbling. But she taught me lots with her patience.