|Hilary and Alexandra on the Royal Hudson
This afternoon I went to a choral concert at Lord Byng Secondary School. I was invited by my friend Olena and her husband Alex (my tocayo) because their teenage daughter Vasilisa was in the Junior Choir.
My memory of performances in the schools in Mexico City and in Vancouver, where our daughters Alexandra and Hilary went to many years ago, made me melancholic knowing that those moments are in a past that will not return. But I was nicely distracted as the three different choirs sounded professional and not like some of the not so nice school concerts that I can remember.
One of the songs was called The Royal Hudson. As the choir sang they imitated the locomotive and train that used to run in West Van and went to Squamish.
While listening to song with those credible imitations of a locomotive I had a St.Paul-on-the-road-to-Damascus moment.
In the minds of many these days, and especially with photographers and cinematographers, is the real and scary advent of Artificial Intelligence. This blog will be my first one on the subject and in subsequent days I will write another one.
The train song reminded me of going on the Royal Hudson with my Rosemary and daughters Alexandra and Hilary when they were quite small.
As we were moving on an aisle of one of the rail cars that had wooden slat seats painted in multi colours, I watched our two daughters sit down. The vision was so splendid that I asked Rosemary to lend me her Pentax ME (it was a dog but this time it worked just fine. It was loaded with Kodak colour neg film) and I took one shot of the two girls.
Framed the photograph is on one side of my bed because there is something about the portrait that says something about the innocence of youth, something that I saw in the choirs tonight. There were all these girls and boys looking radiant and good, much like a brand new shoe before it gets scuffed (with the damning experience of adulthood).
I believe that portrait photographs, and particularly family portraits, will never enter the realm of AI. Who will have the knowledge to tell Siri, “Make a photograph of two little sisters wearing straw hats sitting on a multicoloured train seat in British Columbia"?
That will not happen. And if it does I will be in my personal oblivion and will not care.