Toronto. The celebration of our 150th anniversary (on July 1, 2017) (come out this September 20th to our next presentation) was celebrated with a quintet of speakers, specially made cakes, a beaver poster, and two group photographs; one “traditional” style format by our journal editor Bob Lansdale, and one in stereo by Bob Wilson.
Both photographs were taken in digital format, the technology that has relegated film and darkroom chemicals to the dust bins of time.
Our quintet of speakers covered the past century and a half plus of photography as follows:
Yvette Bessels on modern wet-plate photography. Yvette did a very professional slide show documenting her experiences and technique in the modern art of creating wet plates and albumen prints. I made a post about Yvette and Modern Wet-Plate Photography on June 27th. The post links to Yvette’s site and her instructions for anyone wishing to try the century old process. There is a growing niche of people who are embracing the old chemical based processes. Our fairs and auctions are a great source of such materials.
Jeff Ward on documenting Maritime photographers. Jeff flew up from Halifax to visit family and was delighted to review his progress in documenting the activities of Maritime photographers, principally members of the Rice family. PHSC members have helped Jeff in his research efforts using resources at hand including the databases indexed by Ancestry.ca
The Rice family consists of many documented photographers in our eastern provinces. Jeff gave fully illustrated slide show linking the various members of the family.
Laura Jones on Baldwin Street Gallery. Laura joined the PHSC when it first began and has spoken to the organization many times. Tonight she presented another facet of the Baldwin Street Gallery.
The gallery was the first photographic gallery in Canada. Laura noted that the neighbourhood surrounding Baldwin Street was like family. Many people, including our next speaker, dropped in at Baldwin when the gallery was a destination for Toronto area artists.
Vincenzo Pietropaolo on modern day publishing of photographic books. Vince has spoken to us a few times. Tonight’s talk was affected by technical issues prompting him to speak without slides. And he chose to speak at length on his latest book, Ritual, based on photographs spanning 46 years for which he used various b&w and colour negative films, Ektachrome and Kodachrome slides, and digital photography and the difficulties facing modern-day photographers wishing to publish books of their photographs. Vince explained the need to self-publish which means handling the funding, finding a publisher, and doing entire sales and marketing all on your own.
Nick Chomps on Rooftop photography. In a nod to modern day photography, our last speaker was the young Torontonian Nick Chomps speaking on the latest youth-oriented fad of shooting breath-catching photographs on the roof tops high above unaware passersby as they scurry about their business. Nick related how rooftop photography works with his primary photographic business of architecture photography. Nick noted that roof toppers prefer the high end digital full frame cameras (Canon, Nikon, Sony) and ultra wide-angle lenses. Telephotos are reserved for the times when a tighter frame is more appropriate, while drones are used to give an overview of the shooting area. Nick said most security people were polite and helpful once they realized the photographer had no intention to damage the building or disrupt its inhabitants. (Note that various government officials decry the risky art of Roof Top photography.)
We finished this delightful evening with the two photographs taken of those audience members who remained available after the evening’s very interesting lectures.