A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


The Look Of Music
Friday, January 30, 2009

In 1980 Vancouver Museums and Planetarium Association had money. They organized a huge display of old and rare musical instruments from all over the world called The Look of Music. With some of that extra money they even published a beautiful catalogue book with the same name as the show.

I have no idea what would have inspired Vancouver Magazine editor Malcolm Parry to dispatch me to take pictures of instruments, most of which I found at Ward Music. If you consider that I specialized in portraits and I had never done this sort of thing you can imagine my concern on failing. For one thing, wind instruments are very difficult to photograph as metal absorbs light and records quite dark. I don't remember in the end if my pictures were liked or not. Today, when I found them I decided to monkey with them by scanning the original b+w negatives and modifying them. I used such tricks as telling my scanner that the negatives were colour negatives or I scanned the negatives with a sheet of white paper on top. These resulted as negatives again which I reversed and added colour.


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