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On the ground at Resolute Airport photo: W. Carpenter
What Do You See?
by Mark Hamilton
Bill Carpenter’s photo essay is being presented in four parts, each consisting of around 22 images. This edition of The Fan Hitch contains part 2. As we’re now halfway through the series, I feel this is a good time begin a bit of reflection on what we’ve seen so far. And I also wonder what each of us will be taking forward from this exposition.
I have to admit I don’t just automatically find old pictures intriguing. Maybe that’s one of my shortcomings, but I need to have interest in the pictures’ subject matter before I pay very much attention to a group (or pile) of old photographs.
In Bill’s pictures the people, the places and the dogs all hold great attraction for me, so I’m really enjoying them. I find myself going back and reviewing them time after time. With each repeated viewing I see something new, something else. The pictures are much more than just snapshots of things. For me each is part of what is an historical record of a time and a place somewhere else. The people, dogs, buildings, locations and all the other things in these pictures are there as they were seen by the camera’s eye. They contain details that need to be identified and noted.
Just a few words about how these images came to be here. Bill personally scanned the original negatives. Beyond cropping the images’ to their borders, work done to them was largely confined to adjusting light and contrast levels in order to bring out as much of the detail as still remained in those old negatives. Nothing has been added into them.
Also, when I look at Bill’s pictures I see something more than just dogs and the details of the locations. I sense the energy that went into those dogs and the dedication that was required. Those dogs were the result of all that effort and determination. Bill Carpenter and John McGrath came up with the idea that became the Eskimo Dog Research Foundation. I’m thankful they chose that mission.