|Rosemary & Alexandra - Mexico City - Inkjet print
A few times before I have mentioned how in Latin America writers are sometimes also called cronistas (chroniclers). While I may be no writer I do think that in my 81 years, for many of them, I have watched changes and written about them.
For today’s blog I will write about some stuff I have observed.
I will start with the phone.
I have compiled this list (and it is still growing) of what happens when I phone people in Vancouver or my friends and relatives abroad:
1. Vancouver – Alex, we are about to have supper.
2. Vancouver – Alex, we are having supper.
3. Vancouver 9pm – Alex I was sleeping.
4. Vancouver – Alex I am stuck on the Lion’s Gate
5. Vancouver – I cannot talk. A man is looking at my ceiling
All the above told me they would call me back. They did not.
5. Vancouver 10am – Alex I am playing bridge.
6. Vancouver – Answering machine. I leave a message. No call back.
7. No answering machine.
Then there are the phone conversations when you know you will never call again:
1. Cousin in North Carolina: I am depressed. If Trump loses we will lose our family values.
2. Cousin in Florida: Talks about covid conspiracies.
3. Another cousin in Florida: Swears and uses expletives when I mention President Kennedy.
4. Vancouver : Within minutes, I hate reading the papers. They all hate Trump. I am a conservative
5. Vancouver: I never answer emails. I get too many of them. If you want to talk to me, my cell phone has the ringer on silent. You have to text me first.
6. Vancouver: A most literary one: Alex, it’s not you, I don’t talk on the phone. I’m a writer. I get to think about what was said, then I get to respond, then I get to look it over to see if that’s what I meant to say. The telephone offers none of this.
When people get rid of their landline you cannot find them on Canada 411. For many, who may not have a web page, the only contact is a communication aberration called Linkedin.
In that past century my prescient friend Mark Budgen told me when I called him: "I cannot talk to you. I am monitoring a fax."
Since 1958 until about 6 years ago I printed my photographs in my darkroom. In the case of colour slides I had them printed by labs.
People like Ansel Adams, when he printed his photographs, he signed them in pencil on the back. I do that with my inkjets.
Now with my excellent Epson P700 I print everything as inkjets. I do it the comfort of my oficina with no fumes. I can print anything within 5 minutes. The results on Hahnemühle matt bamboo paper look just like darkroom prints.
I have discovered that because my former printer (also a P700) has been in the hands of the only person who repairs Epson printers in Vancouver for three months and I had to buy another one, that few photographers now print anything. They opt for showing you their photographs taken with thousands of megapixels on their phone.
In that last century we had several city galleries that would show framed photographs on the walls. That is pretty well gone.
Rembrandt lighting shows a person close to a window so that one side of the face is brightly lit and the other is darker.This enables a two dimensional painting or photograph to show curvature and a semablance of that third dimension. We photographers in that other century liked to use that lighting and we imitated it in studios with umbrellas or softboxes that were placed on one side of our subject.
|I took this in Mexico City in October with my Galaxy5. Notice the Rembrandt lighting.
Now cell phone selfies and portraits are done head on and the light is flat on both sides of the face.
Of artificial intelligence and how it affects photography I have written about it here.
That paradox to all the above is that while I live alone with two cats I do get two guaranteed phone calls every day from my daughters. I have this craving to talk on the phone if I cannot see a person in person.
Ant the other paradox is that I have printed photographs (all recent) all over my house that I enjoy seeing on my own. What will become of them when I am gone?
Will anybody in a future Vancouver have the legal ability to use their fireplace to burn them?