It was sometime in 1962 in Mexico City, when I was going to
an American institution called Mexico City College that I became a photographer. I thought I wanted to be an
engineer. I had a friend, Roberto Hijar, who was studying to get a fine arts
degree. Because I was interested in photography he told me he had access to the
college darkroom and invited me to accompany him in very late evenings. The
college was on the way to a town called Toluca (the capital of the State of Mexico) and to get to the college we
boarded a second class bus (Flecha Roja which had a Cummins diesel engine) we called the Toluca Rocket. It had many forward gears so when it stopped for passengers (usually with chickens or turkeys) it took a while before it got to its slow top speed.
Because Hijar’s parents worked as spies for the US Embassy,
he had a grand collection of reel to reel tape machines. We especially liked
listening to Eddie Sauter’s collaboration with Stan Getz called Focus. We particularly liked a composition called I'm Late, I'm Late.
Hijar taught me to process film and to print photographs using a very good enlarger. In short he placed a fire behind me to make me the photographer I am today.
Because I printed from that point on until 6 years ago when Rosemary and I moved to Kitsilano (with no darkroom) I believe I became a very good printer.
Now I have an Epson P700 which is an excellent inkjet printer. Few of my generation understand that to make an 81/2 by 11 inch print the you do not need a higher dpi count than 225. When you do these inkjet prints (especially in b+w and printed on Hanemühle off-white bamboo paper) they look much like a darkroom print.
I cannot understand that with this excellent technology so many of the photographers I know show me their photographs on their phones or laptops.
Do they not understand the pleasure of holding something in
your hand? And lovely framed photographs, put up on a wall, are history.