Wednesday, February 13, 2019
|Ralph Rinke & Robert Kwong
My architect friend Abraham Rogatnick
who died some 7 years
ago used to tell me,”I am not long for this world and I am glad of it.”
understood then and more so now.
Consider that my Microsoft Word program questions the use of the work Ektachrome.
More than half of the cars that I could at once recognize with but a glance are
gone. When I look at the celebrities in my NY Times or even the Vancouver Sun I
have no idea who they are.
While I cannot brag that I used to walk miles to my school
when I was a little boy, whatever else I might want to brag about (since it will be pre-digital revolution)
will be of no importance.
As that not-too-polite English young man in a photography
class I gave some years ago said to me, “Can you show us photographs of people
in magazines that still exist?”
So when two intrepid photographers (and you have to be intrepid
to be one these days), Robert Kwong and Ralph Rinke called me up to ask me if I
could be visited, I jumped at the offer. They were here yesterday and for three
hours my Vancouver isolation in things photographic dissipated. Over Spanish Alhambra
Beer we talked of things that nobody these days would understand. Such as
HC-110, Dektol, Technical Pan and, on and on.
Bless these two from saving me for at least three hours.
The Snowstorm & My LensBaby - Ready for Venice
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
I cannot abide seeing snow photographs when it snows
in Vancouver and not to mention the thousands of blood moon photographs of past
weeks. At the very least these trends are a brief respite from baby pictures or
cat pictures. Food pictures amply prove why when magazines functioned as
magazines, food photographers were paid very good wages for product. The snow
photographs were also a rest from summer fireworks, night cityscapes and
So here you have some lousy snow pictures that I took today.
Can I justify them?
I think I can.
My Rosemary and I are on our way to Venice next week. I am
participating in this group show
. My wife has been there before. Millions have
been there. Soon it will be millions & one when I show up. How can I
possibly take pictures with some sort of originality?
Jeff Gin at Leo’s Camera
contributed (at a very good price)
part of a LensBaby that has different black disks with from small to large size
I chose the almost wide
open f-2.8 disc. I took pictures of the scene outside our Kerrisdale house
today featuring our 2017 Chevrolet Cruze. I believe that these pictures are
indeed lousy but they show that perhaps the f-4 disc might be a better bet to
take some “dreamy” shots of Venice with the Fuji X-E1. With the Fuji X-E3 I
will be using its panoramic stitching capability and in particular for vertical
But I am taking two more cameras that use film. One is a
Japanese swivel lens panoramic called a Widelux which I will load with 160 ISO
Kodak colour negative film. The other camera (as seen here) is a Russian
Horizont swivel lens panoramic. The deep red filter seen in the middle is an
indication that I will be loading it with the long discontinued and most
wonderful Kodak B+W Infrared Film.
I have been reading John Ruskins’s The Stones of Venice
Charles Dickens’s book
on his trip to
Italy, Henry James’s Italian Hours
and Gore Vidal’s Vidal in Venice.
My idea is
to illustrate evocative passages in those books with my photographs.
What the Dickens?
Joani Taylor Salute - Jazz @ The Pat this Saturday
Monday, February 11, 2019
|Joani Taylor and brother Jimm Taylor
Even though I will be flying to Venice with my Rosemary
on Tuesday I believe I will do my best to attend this Saturday’s Jazz @The Pat.
I remember fondly listening to Joani at the Classical Joint and at variety
shows that I photographed at the CBC. I found the above photographs in my files. I have nod idea of the location or the date.
3 pm Saturday Feb 16 - Jazz @ The Pat presents a special
salute to Joani Taylor.
The Graeme Coleman 4tet plus special guests pay tribute
to outstanding, legendary, awesome, standing-ovation-only (superlatives fail
me) vocalist Joani Taylor as she battles leukaemia.
Special guests include Jennifer Scott, Cecile Larochelle,
Jack Stafford, Rene Worst and Andreas Schuld.
We never charge a cover for Saturday afternoon shows but
we will be collecting donations to help Joani during this difficult time. $20
recommended, more appreciated, come prepared.
Graeme Coleman - piano
Craig Scott - drums
Miles Hill - bass
Bill Runge - sax
The Stuff that Dreams Were Made Of
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Today while looking at negatives of Joani Taylor (I found
some) for this blog
I noticed these two photographs. They are of the small art
room at Vancouver Magazine
when it was located on Hornby Street & Nelson.
In the picture standing ( with a beard) on the left is art director Richard
Staehling. In the back, standing is editorial assistant Kerry McPhedran. Sitting
in front of her is Editor Malcolm Parry. The idiot standing and lighting his
pipe is yours truly.
There is a wonder in me when I locate a moment in time
(taken perhaps at 1/30 of a second) of an event I have no memory of but the
photograph reveals that it did happen. In circa 1981 when this photograph was
taken photography was a trusted medium. It was so.
It is amazing to note that the quaint office with the living
room type of lamp and rattan furniture could have been one in which the best
magazine this city ever had was put together. I can see on the bottom right my
open and very heavy photo bag. Because it was so heavy and I carried it on my
right shoulder I am suffering the consequences now of a having a bad right
Those were the days of dreaming. You might have an idea in
the middle of the night. You might then have gone to Vancouver Magazine and
passed Mac’s open door with a, “I have an idea…” and then perhaps a month later
the idea made it on the cover.
I wish I could dream again. But I can at least certify that
all the people of the photograph (I have no memory who might have taken it) are
alive and well.