Spent most of the day yesterday with my father in the hospital. A minor procedure which I won't get into here, but while he was in recovery (he's fine) -- I asked him if it would be okay if I took a couple of pictures of him while he was in his hospital gown, cardiac leads, and wires connected to monitors etc.
My sisters were horrified that I would even suggest such a thing.
But my father, laughed and said -- sure. My sisters left the room, not wanting to be part of this. My father said, "They don't understand, do they."
No, I said. They don't.
"Why do all pictures have to be smiley pictures," he said. "This is real too."
And I did some shots, often with him clowning around. Seemed to cheer him up.
My sisters came back into the room eventually, and by then they were okay with it. But the looks that went around when I first pulled out the camera.
I will admit, that I had decided before I ever set foot in the hospital, that if I could, I would try and document this, and had gone as far as deciding what lenses I would bring etc.
But the time had to be right, and as with anyone else, I would not have done so without asking. I will also admit that I had in mind portraits that Avedon had done of his own father who was then dying, in the hospital.
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It was also insisted upon, that I photograph his 80th birthday party in March. I know the hall where it is going to be held: dark, dark, dark.
I'm going to do it with Fuji 800 or even 1600 so that I can drop the stuff off at a good lab and have them do all the prints. I dont' mind doing these sorts of events, it's the work afterwards, and people asking for prints that is a pain.
This time I'm going to make it easy on myself. I admit, it's the type of thing that if I had a digital camera I'd probably use that.
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