|Alexandra & Hilary - 1979 - Lauren - 2013
When a photographer happens to have a family you can bet that there will be many photographs taken. I started when I married Rosemary in Mexico City in 1968. In Mexico I photographed our two daughters and my mother. In Vancouver with the addition of our two granddaughters Rebecca (24) and Lauren (19) my files are thick with photographs. Many are decent portraits that I took care in shooting with lights and big cameras. Others are snaps at birthdays.
Of my first daughter Alexandra I have countless baby pictures. Paradoxically there are far fewer of my Rosemary.
I have been in the process these last months of putting an order to these negatives, slides and prints. I have two large metal cabinet drawers with family photographs by years. There are pictures there of my family before I met Rosemary and the equivalent of her family. Some of the files are by themes like Mérida with Rebecca, Argentina with Lauren, and so on. Recently I put up a blog with photographs that I found of our family trip to Hawaii in 1985.
For some years I have stared at the two framed photographs (too large to properly scan them full size including the frame) of Alexandra and Hilary wearing lovely Mexican tops in our bedroom. I took these photographs perhaps in 1979 in my little Burnaby studio at our home and then printed them in my darkroom using a Drawn Cotton – Patterson texture screen. Somehow in our move from Kerrisdale to Kitsilano I lost the red envelope containing the screens.
I wanted to do some contemporary portraits with the same technique with the variation that my scanner could easily scan the two negative sandwich. But alas, the screens were lost!
Until today! There under all those negatives was that red envelope I remembered with all the darkroom stains.
I have scanned the portraits from our bedroom and chose one of Lauren (Hilary’s daughter). I am pleased with the results.
All these discoveries make my tedious work of sifting through the huge plastic boxes with negatives almost a pleasure.
I am sure that some of my contemporaries would tell me, “Alex, you could have done this with Photoshop some time ago without need of those b+w screens.” I believe that mating the latest technology of my scanner with the Patterson screens and the not-too-cutting-edge colour negative of Lauren taken in our Kerrisdale den in 2013 is just right.
As a humorous aside this photographer has always been careful in dealing with Patterson's Law of Photography that states, "Murphy was an optimist."- obviously a different Patterson.