To RUH in Bath for my monthly macular checkup. Doctors do not have the time to tell you everything; I did not know until today that there is no cure for dry macular but that it comes on unspectacularly over a period of time. Wet macular, which is what I have, comes on suddenly but is treatable. This is about my 16th monthly visit. You go along, your eye is photographed, if it is getting worse you get an injection in the eye concerned. Each time the injection is given in a different quadrant of the eye. My left eye is fairly stable now and only needs doing once every couple of months. Without the NHS I would have probably paid out about £16,000 by now. Something to meditate on if you find yourself irritated by a wait of a couple of hours. Try going private.
As my regular readers will know, numerous photographs and drawings and paintings are posted in the main corridors I suppose to cheer people up and give the place a good feel. By the way, any member of the public can wander in. Just look as if you have a purpose and no one will question you. There is a good Friends coffee room off the main corridor and well signposted.
I really don’t know what you think about this photograph. Forgive me but from being a complete cynic but I think this one was photoshopped. Photo shop is one of Adobe’s the most successful products. It has been available for 28 years now with an estimated 15 million users worldwide.
I see so many photographs “processed to sell” and I find them slightly annoying. Are the trees really that degree of green? Was the shot above made at a slow shutter speed? I don’t know what to trust. If you want a pretty picture that’s fine but what is a picture supposed to do? I must admit I love black-and-white photographs more than any other type. Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002) was a brilliant portrait photographer and you believe the results. He knows how to win the confidence of the sitter to get the absolute best out of them. I am missing my favourite one of Leonard Bernstein but look at this one. I believe it. Karsh has caught the soul of the person.
Ernest Hemmingway. This is him. You see the determination and vision in his eyes, almost a peep into his soul. Now look at this one photographed by Annie Leibovitz, for whom I have the highest respect by the way.Sorry guys, this is not in the same category. It is poorly produced. I admit I have not seen the original so forgive me spirit of Annie. It’s the attitude, the lighting, the state of mind they are in, it should all stand out a mile.
What about Cartier Bresson’s photograph of Albert Camus? To capture the soul of someone you had to be a really great photographer. This example includes a apposite context which I believe helps us to understand something of the man who was a philosopher, author and journalist.
In my opinion, black-and-white photography is enormously underestimated. I think you capture the nuances better then colour because in a way I find colour a distraction. I could say it does too much of the work for you.
Going further down the corridor, I found another image. This work is called “Eastbourne Pier” by Eva Woroblec. It is a framed print on archival fine art paper. There is a good article about types of paper which you may care to read. I find this one genuine because I can almost feel the effects of the recent rain shower, the cold, damp, the almost derelict look of the place which in the summer sees children playing games and eat ice creams.
So, whoever manages the photographs for the Royal United Hospital, Bath you certainly have an effect on me anyway.
Back home to watch yet another Sir David Attenborough nature film. Where he gets the time I have no idea. Maybe he doesn’t go to places any more but just records the voice-over. How old is he? . Let me think now. He was born on 8 May 1926 so that makes him 91 coming up to 92. Not bad.