BLACK and WHITE and SILVER and PLATINUM
I’ve overthought this which is a frequent downfall of writers in general and arts writers in particular. In this instance it was due to wanting to write something that would do justice to the work of an amazing photographer (who I am absolutely honored to know) : I tied myself in knots and got a serious case of writer’s block. It’s never happened before.
So – I’ll let the work speak for itself, and scribble down a few things I did manage to get out. This is also a good approach, as it forefronts the fine images of Ron Tucker.
Ron Tucker takes black and white photography seriously. When he first shared his portfolio with me, I took one brief look and then immediately went to grab a pair of cotton gloves to ensure I did not deface them in any way. The first word that came to mind was “exquisite”.
Tucker’s work is more than a little reminiscent of the work of Walker Evans… not to imply that he’s derivative of Evans’ oeuvre, but rather that his eye has an un-erring way of seeking out what is important in the landscape (wherever he may be) around him. What some may find mundane or inconsequential, Tucker’s lens interprets as strength, symmetry, and beauty.
Also like Evans, Ron is a bit of an aesthete when it comes to printing his work, painstakingly spotting his silver gelatin prints to perfection. His platinum work must be experienced in person to be fully appreciated. As a medium, platinum offers depth and tonal range unlike almost any other process, and Ron’s work here is an exemplary use of that format.
He’s earned appropriate success for his artwork; from local, national and international competition awards to interviews and multi-page articles in the leading art photography magazine in the world, Black and White Magazine UK (2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007, respectively).
Recently, Tucker had an exhibition of his work in London (Ontario) at All Things Film (allthingsfilm.ca). It’s regrettable I took so long to write this as this was an opportunity to experience his work in person, when the full force of his skill and eye are clear. With any luck he’ll be showing again VERY soon.
Some notes from the exhibition catalog:
“(Ron) believes that black and white film is the perfect medium to capture his favourite subject; architecture and the forgotten places he sees on his travels around North America.
Throughout his career he has rejected trendy techniques and the advances of digital technology, and has continued to stay true to his love and reverence for film and natural light. Ron composes and shoots in a classic style, trying to interpret the work of the masters he grew up studying and admiring.”
Alongside being a brilliant photographer, he and his partner Maureen are an integral part of the film photography community in Canada (a community that is only growing, with both experienced photographers and new initiates), helping others “discover the world of film through their passion project – The London Vintage Film Camera Company.”
The next London Vintage Camera Show will be held in London on September 24 at St. John the Divine Hall between 10 AM and 3 PM (you can find out more at the link shared above). This is an opportunity to purchase yourself some great gear… and perhaps to see some of his images, as hopefully Ron will have a few photos on view.
~ Mark Walton