Friday, March 10, 2017

Photographic memory: Episode Three © by Adrian

Considering all the photos I’ve taken over the past 60 years I thought it might be fun to display a few from time to time. I will also include a few of myself and some of the studios I've owned along the way.

As for any technical details, they've all been shot on what was called film using anything from 5 x 7 view cameras on up to those cute little thingys we use nowadays. Almost all the processing was done by me in what we used to call darkrooms.

I thought I would start with the first picture I ever had published and was paid for. I took it at a wresting match in Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto in 1959 with a 4 x 5 press camera.

A wrestler named Gorgeous George, who as part of his shtick, wore outrageous costumes and had an enormous coifed golden head of hair was wrestling a fan favourite named Whipper Billy Watson. The wager and publicity stunt was that if Watson lost he would retire from wrestling and if Gorgeous lost they could cut off his magnificent hair. Well, lost he did.

In those days, when a freelancer took any pictures to the paper of their choice, (in this case the Telegram) you were expected to just find their darkroom and develop the film yourself. You'd make a few prints from what you shot and leave them on the picture editor’s desk. Their regular photographer was at the event that night but they also chose one of mine to add to the story which ran the next day. I wasn't given a credit line in the story but I did get an apology from the paper for the oversight and a check for a whopping $ 5.00 for using my picture.

At the time it was obvious to me that if I was able to get to see a show for free (carrying a press camera got you in anywhere, no questions asked) and it was that easy and fun to make 5 bucks then I had found the mother lode, my future was secured!

So, no fame but definitely a fortune...