My WalkClickMake Roadmap for 2021

On a summer walk with Gail, 2020

It is hard to believe that one year ago today, in early March 2020, Gail and I were readying for a trip to France. We were to leave on March 30, arrive in Paris, make our way to the small city of Langres and continue our walk along the Via Francigena pilgrimage route towards Rome for another 550 kilometres.

One year later, and that trip is still on hold with no reasonable expectation that we can resume any sooner than the spring of 2022. While I am eager to get back on the trail—I will be in my seventieth year by then with many long walks still on the waiting list—life at home in Winnipeg has not been one of regrets. In spite of lockdowns and social distancing, my days seemed to overflow with creative exercises and hyper-local diversions. 

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From Our Windows Book Launch

Winnipegger’s new book explores self-isolation through the lens of a Polaroid camera.

On December 10, 2020 at 7:00 PM CST, David Firman will hold a virtual book launch and reading via Zoom. The event is free but pre-registration is required. The registration form is here: https://www.firmangallery.com/BookLaunchRegistration.

David Firman’s new photography book, From Our Windows, tells a personal story of life contained within the four walls of his Wolseley home. Set during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, David uses a vintage Polaroid SX-70 camera to explore the relationship of sanctuary to the now-viral world outside—two worlds separated, yet tantalizingly connected, by thin sheets of window glass.

From Our Windows is a self-published hardcover book available through the author’s website at www.firmangallery.com.

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From Our Windows, Part 12

This is the final set of Polaroids in my From Our Windows project. I could continue of course. It’s not as if the pandemic has suddenly vanished. But I am comfortable with what I have captured over the past three months. When I lay out my eighty-plus little framed images, I can see a complete story emerging. The next step? Preparing the book for publication. Stay tuned.

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From Our Windows, Part 11

This is the third and final series of Polaroid SX-70 pictures altered with alcohol inks. It has been a curious exercise. Although I apply the inks as a single, tiny dot, how it spreads across the glossy surface of the photo is totally unpredictable and uncontrollable. How appropriate!

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From Our Windows, Part 10

In 1977, when André Kertész began his Polaroid SX-70 series From My Window, he started with a glass figurine, a crystalline icon for his recently departed wife, Elizabeth.

In 2020, the iconography of our times is not one of remembrance and reverence but of dread and an unknown future.

Midway through my own From Our Windows project, pre-ordered boxes of glass spheres started to appear on my doorstop, deliveries that, as cruel irony, began their journey in China.

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From Our Windows, Part 8

My journey from room to room to room continues.

All photographs in my From Our Windows project were taken in May, June and July 2020 with a Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera, Alpha 1, Model 2 manufactured January 12, 1977. The film used for this project was Polaroid/Polaroid Originals Color SX-70 Film manufactured by Impossible BV in 2019/2020. All photographs were taken from the interior of my home on Raglan Road in Winnipeg.

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From Our Windows, Part 7

This is the first of several experiments using alcohol inks to alter Polaroid SX-70 photos. The glossy Mylar image is the perfect receptor for these inks. I watch as a single drop of ink spreads out across the plastic surface unpredictably. I hope for a circle. I hope that another drop and another colour will blend as I think it should. But the reality is that the ink goes where it wants to go. It’s not in my control.

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