|Mexico City circa 1978-79|
Until the late 1870s there was no practical way to reproduce a photograph in a newspaper or a magazine. This meant that all those American Civil War photographs would have been seen as etchings or up on a wall at a gallery. There was a method used to reproduce photographs in books (usually appeared as a frontspiece) that was called the photogravure. Because of its intaglio type of printing they could not be placed in normal publications.
With the advent of the halftone process, a series of black, gray dots and white spaces, finally photographs were appeared in newspapers.
This innovation marked the beginning of a long relationship between photographers and magazines and newspapers. Until the collapse of journalism in this 21st century , publications vied to have original photographs and photographers were sent all over the world to take photographs that were original.
In this 2023 photographers post photographs I social media with little explanation. They think that the photograph can stand on its own.
They forget that photography from that first photograph of the Steinway Building appearing in a long gone NY newspaper has always been a symbiosis.
Perhaps these lonely photographs are the product of laziness or not wanting to write on a phone keyboard.
I will not rant about the above and I will continue to mate my photographs with my writing in my now my 5759 blogs.
Many will skip this blog and they may like the image which is a scanner sandwich of two colour negatives.
I believe that the story behind it is interesting.
When Rosemary, our two daughter and I left Mexico City for Vancouver in 1975 my neighbours kept telling me to stay as I was making a good living taking photographs of wealthy Mexican families with my 35mm Pentacon-F and Pentax S-3. The film was Kodak Tri-X and I would process the film in my little bathroom darkroom in our Arboledas, Estado de México little brick home.
I did not have lights but I had a very good light metre. I took my photographs in low contrast situations.
Judging by the fact that the photograph of this woman (filed under Mexican Girl) is a 6x7cm format it tells me (I have a hazy memory) that sometime in the late 70s I went back to Mexico on assignment for the then Mexicana de Aviación. At the time I only had a 65mm wide angle for my Mamiya RB-67. This meant I could not take tight portraits. I have no idea if I took more pictures. The file only has 6 frames.
The above photograph reveals a few interesting facts. One is that I had yet to learn that you never cut off hands in portraits. On the positive note the painting by Luís Strempler (1928 -2002) is dedicated to Francisco Alonso y Alonso. He would have been the girl's father.
Somehow I must have contacted the family of the girl and they hired me to photograph her.
At the time, as in most Latin American countries there is an endemic racism. The family of the girl would have been proud that she was “blanquita” and had blonde hair.
When I shot these photographs I was not yet established as a magazine photographer in Vancouver. I took many photographs of our daughters. This led to my specializing in portraiture. I have not looked back since.
At age I am shooting portraits. And I am proud to write here that I provide content to my photographs.