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.