I cannot think of two more different places than Essaouira and Thunder Bay. Yet, I had photographs from both places on a single roll of 120 film, and that made me smile as I began to scan a few negatives this afternoon. Parent-Teacher interviews were exhausting, but that is an important part of my job and now I have a weekend to recuperate. Last night to celebrate I went to buy a few comic books and vinyl records to serve as a background for my sleepy afternoons. Leonard Cohen’s Songs From the Road was first in rotation, followed by Waits’ Bad as Me, and Bjork’s Biophilia will be played as the sun sets on my Saturday. Most interesting was a piece written on the inside of the Cohen sleeve by Leon Wieseltier about the Art of Wandering. If you have not read it, then I strongly urge you to spend the $20 just to read what he has to say about the value of “the road” as a place versus a means to arrive at the next place.
I miss the road. Looking at my negatives and images in Lightroom makes me want to leave Toronto behind and just walkabout until I want to come home. I did decide to take a break this year from travel to ensure that my health recovered from jungles, deserts and air travel, but now I am itching to fly away like a bird on fire. For today’s scans I wanted to give the photographs feeling of retro-processing with a few experimental filters and adjustments; think Polaroid without the wait. The bridge in Thunder Bay took an hour to shoot because I had to wait for cars to not be within the frame. My original intention was to set-up with the Hasselblad SWC/M camera, and then come back with V. to use the 4×5. My experience was so poor as I waited for the bridge to empty that a return was abandoned.
The Essaouira photos were taken while walking with our guide through the city. V. and I did much better on our own the next day, but our first outing was a good way to see the basics of the beach resort town. I had been using my Hasselblad 501 c/m camera and a CB 60mm lens, I think, for both of these shots. While the 50mm CFE is a far superior lens, I chose to take the 60mm because it was far cheaper to replace should sand and dust creep in. The alleyway shot is a bit of a disappointment, as the sky is totally blown out and could not be brought back. Regardless, I like the composition, and I might be able to make this more compelling in black and white.
I have scanned two of V.’s 4×5 photographs from Thunder Bay, which also feature the grain elevators but in a landscape orientation, and she was excited about one in particular. I am trying to think of a magazine that might want to publish the material, but nothing has come to mind yet. Courtney Hogan has decided to use three of the photographs I took in the summer for her upcoming CD, and I apparently have a tonne of products to shoot for Paderno in shipment. I get the feeling that there will suddenly be an influx of work in April, which should prove to be an excellent way to spend my time while V. heads to Rome on vacation. Wish I was going…but after Thunder Bay, Rome would seem so small town.