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Fishermen of Kalk Bay

Fishermen, Fishing gear

Working the Gear

I spent nearly two years regularly visiting the harbour village of Kalk Bay on the peninsular of the Cape of Good Hope and which sits comfortably in the northern nook of False Bay (Die Blou Dam). Many of my images were originally made with digital media and in colour and the results were initially very satisfying. For this reason, and for the pleasure of the fishing people of Kalk Bay,  I produced a small book with many of these pictures; “Fishermen – Kalk Bay”. This is available at Kalky’s on the harbour and at the KB Modern in a very limited edition.

However, I found some lack of satisfaction with the perfect medium of digital colour and decided to complete the entire 15 images for a new exhibition in black and white. I began shooting with a wonderful Nikon F100, one of the latest and most capable 35mm film cameras produced by Nikon. I have many of these images still to be printed! This ease of practice still did not generate a feeling of accomplishment.

In January of 2016, I  found a 1983 Hasselblad 501c from a very well known photographer who had decided to close down her Silver Hallide facility; the whole kit had never been outside the studio and was in perfect condition. The famous Hasselblad is a square (6cm x 6cm) medium format camera. Focusing; exposure and film manipulation is entirely manual and in fact quite physical! This was the trigger that I had been lacking and my shooting schedule took off with unexpected verve. This included a 15 hour stint on a 12m line-fishing vessel in quite rough conditions (with a heavy manual camera). By October I had the first 10 images printed and framed and every reasonable image printed as a rough proof in my own darkroom.

The final prints were made by the world renowned Master Printer – Dennis Da Silva at The Alternative Print Workshop in Johannesburg. All images were printed on Ilford Fine Art silver hallide paper, signed and numbered (Only 10 images of each will be produced). Dennis and I spent 20 marathon hours in the darkroom to finish this collection. This exhibition should really have been in the name of Dennis De Silva. I just took the pics.

Finally there were 15 images hanging at the notoriously delicious Olympia Cafe (You have to try their Yellowtail) and I was given the space for the whole month of February. I think that the Olympia Cafe is by far the funkiest Art Space in the Cape. Do try and visit some of the shows there.

You can see more of the images in B&W and  Digital Colour at: renepaulgosselin.photoshelter.com

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