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Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks is a well known photographic writer, author of The Rangefinder Book, over three dozen other photographic books, and a frequent contributor to Shutterbug and Amateur Photographer. Unusually in today's photographic world, most of his camera reviews are film cameras, especially rangefinders. See www.rogerandfrances.com for further background (Frances is his wife Frances Schultz, acknowledged darkroom addict and fellow Shutterbug contributor) .


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The beginning of a novella
Old 10-24-2016   #1
Roger Hicks
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The beginning of a novella

If you were a time traveller, what would you photograph? Would you actually be able to make sense of what you were seeing?

As many will know, I'm going into hospital for a serious operation in a couple of weeks' time. I thought I'd like to share this before I did.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-24-2016   #2
Juan Valdenebro
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I wish you the best with your operation, Roger...
Both your good heart and your dedication to photography and knowledge sharing deserve nothing but love and admiration... Hope it goes well.
If I could photograph in the past I'd photograph Jesus to show what he really was... I think that religion has possibly been the most problematic fact in the world... Gandhi used to say something like "that Christ was a great person... Those that are totally different from that Christ, are Christians..."
Recover well!!!
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Old 10-24-2016   #3
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Am I going forwards or backwards in time? Either way I would expect to be able to make sense of some of it depending on how far forwards or backwards I travel. Obviously, if I travel too far then there will inevitably come a time where my mind is no longer able to properly understand what I see, what is safe and what is dangerous will be the first thing to be compromised.

But go on...

Will I be able to return? If I can, will returning erase what I have photographed from the film or memory card? Or, if I have gone backwards, will what I bring back forwards decay and become undecipherable. What unsuspected natural or unnatural particles or energies will effect my recording media?

If I go backwards will I be treated as a heretic or an invader, someone who must be eliminated? If I go forwards will I be captured and studied in a laboratory, finally killed and my body studied for science. Forget my dress and my responses to others, will the very act of photographing mark me as a danger, or at least unusual enough to raise suspicions and concerns?

What germs would I carry forwards or backwards for which no one would have any resistance? Or would the very act of time travel cause the germs to mutate so fast they became deadly to me.

Good luck with your surgery btw. Hope all goes well.
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Old 10-24-2016   #4
Roger Hicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
Am I going forwards or backwards in time? Either way I would expect to be able to make sense of some of it depending on how far forwards or backwards I travel. Obviously, if I travel too far then there will inevitably come a time where my mind is no longer able to properly understand what I see, what is safe and what is dangerous will be the first thing to be compromised.

But go on...

Will I be able to return? If I can, will returning erase what I have photographed from the film or memory card? Or, if I have gone backwards, will what I bring back forwards decay and become undecipherable. What unsuspected natural or unnatural particles or energies will effect my recording media?

If I go backwards will I be treated as a heretic or an invader, someone who must be eliminated? If I go forwards will I be captured and studied in a laboratory, finally killed and my body studied for science. Forget my dress and my responses to others, will the very act of photographing mark me as a danger, or at least unusual enough to raise suspicions and concerns?

What germs would I carry forwards or backwards for which no one would have any resistance?

Good luck with your surgery btw. Hope all goes well.
All good questions: thanks. I know some of the answers but not others. And thanks too for the good wishes.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-24-2016   #5
rhl-oregon
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Roger, do you know the Craig Raine book A Martian Writes a Postcard Home? Will it make good hospital reading? I don't know. But it is a witty treatise in poems about making the familar strange, which is surely one of the main tasks of art, along with its reverse. The French prose poet Francis Ponge does something similar in Le parti pris des choses.

What would the Martian make of a tablet computer? Opaque on one side, full of light on the other!



I don't photograph this sort of dislocation often--it's not a daily discipline--but sometimes nothing else will do to suggest the strangeness of not belonging in a certain time or a certain space. When I was crossing the country to my sister's funeral in 2013, I did a series of still life images of my black hat in transit, because it was so lonely and weird to be grieving in airports and airplanes among so many others on unknown or unknowable journeys.









This may be off topic, though I hope not: more about reperceiving or 'strangifying' objects in familiar space than revising one's own perception of objects or people or processes in time--but they connect somewhere along the imaginary spacetime continuum.

I hope this thread stays lively and keeps you company in hosiptal. If you would not mind sending me a PM with your mailing address, I would be glad to send some light reading--by which I mean a book or two that don't weigh much but which do address matters of psychic travel. Be well and take care.
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Old 10-24-2016   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhl-oregon View Post
Roger, do you know the Craig Raine book A Martian Writes a Postcard Home? Will it make good hospital reading? I don't know. But it is a witty treatise in poems about making the familar strange, which is surely one of the main tasks of art, along with its reverse. The French prose poet Francis Ponge does something similar in Le parti pris des choses.

What would the Martian make of a tablet computer? Opaque on one side, full of light on the other!



I don't photograph this sort of dislocation often--it's not a daily discipline--but sometimes nothing else will do to suggest the strangeness of not belonging in a certain time or a certain space. When I was crossing the country to my sister's funeral in 2013, I did a series of still life images of my black hat in transit, because it was so lonely and weird to be grieving in airports and airplanes among so many others on unknown or unknowable journeys.









This may be off topic, though I hope not: more about reperceiving or 'strangifying' objects in familiar space than revising one's own perception of objects or people or processes in time--but they connect somewhere along the imaginary spacetime continuum.

I hope this thread stays lively and keeps you company in hosiptal. If you would not mind sending me a PM with your mailing address, I would be glad to send some light reading--by which I mean a book or two that don't weigh much but which do address matters of psychic travel. Be well and take care.
Wow! Wow! You are a time traveler. You gave yourself away by showing your hat on one of those old pay phones one used to see in airports, bus stations, and restaurants.

Please tell us some of your adventures.

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Old 10-24-2016   #7
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Mr. Hicks. You will be in my prayers for a quick and successful healing. Frances as well, as I am sure she must be worried. So for her you have to heal quick with no complications. (Us too please) Please keep us informed of your progress.

EDIT: As to myself, I would only want to go backwards in a manner that ensured I could not affect any future events. I would probably be stupid enough to try, and goodness knows what I would foul up, including myself.

If in the future ... It would be interesting. My grandfather was born in the 1880s. That could have been old west time. He lived to see telephones, automobiles, radio, movies and movies that talked, two world wars, TV, and men on the moon. Yet he always farmed with horses and horse drawn equipment, and would not allow inside plumbing or electricity. The ice box was just that, an insulated box with a block of ice which they tried to make last as long as possible. He could not have imagined all he watched happen when he was a boy. I doubt I could imagine what would be used to take photos or what might replace them. Sure would be fun to do, if I survived the experience. If I wasn't considered a curiosity in the future, to be studied and manipulated, I expect when I returned and tried to tell people, I would be sent to the nearest psychiatrist.

Interesting comments to come from others I am sure.
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Old 10-24-2016   #8
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Hi Roger,
I wish you a COMPLETE recovery.
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Old 10-24-2016   #9
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Greetings Roger, and my best wishes for you getting past your surgery and healing well.
I will think more about your question.
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Old 10-24-2016   #10
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All my best wishes for a perfect result and a quick recovery, Roger.
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Old 10-24-2016   #11
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Wishing good results and thank you for sharing special story.
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Old 10-24-2016   #12
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Traveling in time...hmmm...which camera and which lens...maybe better just a few pencils and some paper...
Wishing you a great and quick recovery, with friendship
robert and simo
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Old 10-24-2016   #13
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Good luck, Roger!
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Old 10-24-2016   #14
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This will keep you on your toes until the nurse tells you to take a deep breath: http://www.hawking.org.uk/space-and-time-warps.html Wishing you all the best, Peter
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Old 10-24-2016   #15
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Quote:
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Traveling in time...hmmm...which camera and which lens...maybe better just a few pencils and some paper...
Wishing you a great and quick recovery, with friendship
robert and simo
Dear Robert,

YES!

And love to Simo.

Perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned the surgery. the hospital screwed up and slipped it a month. That's the only reason I mentioned it, after saying I'd be in a couple of weeks ago. The story was the more important part.

And thanks to everyone else who has sent good wishes too. I'm better placed than a very old friend who is dying of lung cancer, and whom I saw last Monday.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 10-24-2016   #16
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we will see you on the recovery side of the surgery, and you can reconnect with us...
All will go well,
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Old 10-24-2016   #17
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Roger,
Good luck and I wish you a speedy recovery.
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