Last weekend, our friend “The Prissy German Tourist” came to stay overnight, so he could attend the downtown passport office and line up all day for his turn to present his documents and passport application for processing. Knowing full well that any attempt at artspeak with me over dinner and while lounging around would be met by strict admonitions from “Rumpole” to cease and desist, PGT cleverly brought a book to casually place at the end of the table.
“Photgraphy REBORN – image making in the digital era”, by Jonathan Lipkin, 2005, Abrams Studio, www.abramsbooks.com
is this book which enticed “Rumpole” into a lengthy discussion among us of how photography has changed over the past 20 years with the advent of digital technologies. We spent a stimulating evening looking at the images in this book. “PGT” has pretty much abandoned his painting practice and has been working with his digital camera and computer programs to experiment in extending his visual vocabulary and resulting expression. “Rumpole” has always loved making photos, developing film and printing pictures in a home dark-room, and together we did this together and separately until 1989 when we moved to suburbia, and into a more complex life which precluded photography. So, here is left behind this marvellous book to pore over, and for the time we have it here to share with other friends.
It so happens that M (Martha) my clever, delightful friend who teaches photography and video production and is also quite savvy with computer technology, is a keen photographer much interested in the history and the developments in this medium. She is a very fine maker of black and white photographic images. While browsing in an art book store, I found a treasure which called out, “I am meant for Martha! Buy me, right now!” Such a find!
“Tete a Tete – the portraits of Henri Cartier-Bresson
“Rumpole” and I presented it to Martha at dinner on Tuesday night, as her “un-birthday” present. We passed around the book, held up to each other the book as we pored over it page by page. We didn’t get any arrabiata sauce on any pages at all, and dinner became a protracted affair, very pleasurable.
We made a date for the three of us to go to the big public gallery downtown later this month to see the retrospective exhibition of a Canadian photographer, whose day job was medical photographic illustration, but whose real all-consuming passion was to record the changing nature of our large city.
So this seems to be immersion in photography month, and many pleasant surprises await us all, I think.