Current Time On The Rock

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Ode To Photography and Photographers Everywhere"

Sometimes ya just have to pay homage to what is real and what is wonderful. Photography to me is real because it catches those moments and when you look back on that snap years hence, how wonderful it is to realize those smells, colors and events all over again.

As timeless and nostalgic as a  57 Chevy photographs just never seem to get old with me. Sure the process may change over the years but all you still really need is a box with a hole in it and something to record light. I love this shot I took recently of the old beast. The fins, the real metal, the cool color ,the snappy bumpers, the white walls and the smooth lines just add up to a classic. Not many can say that.

Part of my trip to Cupids last weekend was to take in the photo and art show at the old Avondale Train Platform in Conception Harbour. What beautiful pieces of art and photography on display. Most notable to me was the exhibit of Hugh Hoyles Fraser a Newfoundland Photographer in the early years. This is some of his equipment on display by one of his descendants. His story is ripe with intrigue to me and his dedication to his craft was evident in the meticulousness of his work and his product. He kept journals and wrote every setting for every picture he ever took. He organised hundreds perhaps thousands of plates catalogued in boxes for print and enlarging using a kerosene enlarger seen here long before the ease of computer manipulation.

Of course bellows cameras were popular then with mechanisms and dials to adjust lens and apertures and  perhaps shutter speeds.

The literature also in his collection about photography was also an indication of how learned he must have become over the years of his passion.

One of my favourite pics I've taken below is of the camera with the drape over the rear on an old wooden adjustable tripod which epitomised for me the early tools of the trade seen in movies and in books of photography around the world. With plates needing changing and safe storage for copy to paper of some sort or to glass plates with emulsions.

 I remember when those cheap plastic viewfinders they were called came out where you inserted a wheel with two image to try and give a three  D effect. They tried this very early on as well as seen in the top image of one of the old "viewfinders" on the front of the table where you needed to put two images on either side of an eye piece for viewing.

It seems we have come a long way and yet maybe not too far because when you view the black and whites of the likes of Ansel Adams you can still be captivated by that which is the greatness of photography in its' purest form. There are way to many greats today to name but it is rewarding to me to be able to draw on the works of others if not for inspiration and clarity then for just looking and feeling the effects of a good ol' snap.
It is so pleasing that one can enjoy the air, the water and the land while recording that moment in time for eternity. My son and Dad pay a visit to St. John's on Saturday for a week. This is the second time my Dad of 85 has ever flown. The other was when he was about 40, close to my age now forty somethin' lol. This is also the first time one of my parents has been in my own house as I have always been the one away and traveling back home. My Mom passed on some years ago before she could see me actually settled and closer to home. Such is life. But with three generations hanging around for a week I will be delighted to show my Dad with my son what is the substance of my home life and what is the substance of what I love in photography. After all my Dad is why I moved back from BC closer to home. What a reward finally for his visit and his courage to do it. This is why photography is so important to me. Moments that will be captured and enjoyed for eternity.


Silbs said...

Great piece. I still hae my 4x5 camera and heavy tripod and miss using it. It slowed things down and made the selection process very deliberate. No just click, click, click.

Stan Mac Kenzie said...

Thanks Silbs,
I think I share your passion!