Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sidewalk Service & Sales

This was a scene that I happened upon while on my way to pick up darkroom chemicals for another evening of printing and listening to CBC radio under the glow of the red safelight. Dent, the fellow on the left was without a doubt, one of the most gifted and craftiest of photographic salesmen that I have ever met. His all round knowledge of every aspect of photography was, and is, totally amazing. If you were anywhere close to him, better be prepared to part with some money, or have your credit card handy. On the right is Jack, whom I am proud to say, was one of my first photography instructors. His black and white photographs are hanging in art galleries all over the world. He was North Bay's version of Ansel Adams. His eye for detail and composition was exquisite.
He helped instill in me the love of seeing and light. He used to say, "it's all about the light, Dave." He is gone to a better place now, and I'll never forget him. In this sidewalk scene, Jack, in his eighties, had just gotten out of hospital. While he was in there, a fire had totally destroyed the downtown building that housed his darkroom, still life studio, and all of his medium format cameras, negatives, and prints.......everything was gone. We all thought that he would be totally devastated by this blow to him. But we did not know him very well at all. He said, "it's all just stuff!" Then he did something that blew us all away. He met with Dent, and ordered a new computer, film scanner, printer, the whole works, to set up a digital studio. Before long, he had put together enough new "digital art" to put on a photography exhibit at the Capitol Centre Art Gallery, that was the talk of the town. He had someone help wheel him around in his wheelchair, to various locations he had decided to explore with his 35 mm cameras. He truly loved his craft, right to the very end, and showed us all that you are never too old to learn something new, or do something in a different way. Always believe in what you do. It was wonderful knowing these two guys, and I miss them.
P.S. I deliberately did NOT "clean up" this image after scanning the negative. I felt that it adds to the "aged" treatment or look that I wished to achieve. It is very noticable upon enlarging.


Anonymous said...

A very nice tribute to a GREAT man.

David c.h. Brown said...

Thank you for looking in Anonymous.
I appreciate it. Dave

Mike de Moree said...

Thanks for that wonderful picture and the story behind the image. I still miss my weekly photo trips with Jack. We had some great times together.

The guy on the left said...

I remember that time very well, and thanks for posting the picture.

Hope all is well with you,

David c.h. Brown said...

Thanks for checking in "Guy on the Left". So glad to hear from you. Things are going pretty well now, and we really do like it here in Windsor, in spite of all the junk that is going on. Winter was almost a non event here, but the locals think that it was a really "harsh" one. Then, I can't wait for a "normal" one. Hoping to go north soon to NL. Will drop by to say hello. Thanks, Dave