Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 52 … Olivier Duong … Observations …Farewell Andre’


Well, thet time has arisen for Olivier and I to meet at our NE Philly Offices, formally known as my rear bedroom. First off the git-go, Olivier, here-after known as”The Kid”, has a voracious appetite for Photo Books and Cameras. Oh yeah, he consumed years and years of photography knowledge hidden in the volumes of books here in our international office and digested a lot of info. We decided to trade info but our brain links were off line and not working properly. Imagine the horror of having to openly chat and openly see what each is looking at. Then, then we decided to have an analog visit and just do work digitally.



There is a certain safety in beingjust digital and here’s what I mean. Olivier was sitting on a chair close to the Camera and Len’s Cabinet. He heard a voice call out to him….”Olivier”, take me home. Shooter doesn’t pay attention to me anymore. I heard the voice too and was very upset. See, ever since Serendipity came to the cabinet, I haven’t used anyone else for my walk-a-bouts. So I reached in and took Andre’ the Fuji X100s and placed him on the desk. Oliver’s eyes lit up and Andre’ seemed to be feeling alive again. Olivier picked Andre’ up and in a few minutes both him and Andre’ told me they had something to say.

Andre’ said to me, “Shooter, I’m not jealous of the Oly Pen F named Serendipity but I feel kinda unloved and just sitting here on the shelf is counter productive to my essence. I need to go to work and your not going to do that with me again.” It was with a heavy hand and heart that I handed Andre’ the Fuji X100s to Olivier and said, “Take care of my friend, friend.” He smiled and graciously  accepted the task of working with and caring for Andre’.


Olivier was like a kid in the candy store with all my books and stuff all around. Then, as the air calmed and the stars settled into the evening sky, as the ships out on the sea harboured it’s sailors to keep them safe in the night breeze and from the waves of uncertainity…..there, there was the words all digital shooters long to hear…..out of the fog of the past I said… Let’s go see the darkroom. Now a digital shooter without a firm grasp on all reality may have succombed to the fears of a dark room. There, deep in the shallows of my basement, nestled away from the living present, lives my darkroom. I opened the door and the black curtain and we enteren the room. I flipped on the white light and I could hear all the things in there yell out, yes, yes…. we are alive. Let there be light!

My Leica enlarger looked at tme with a tear in her eye…. you have foresaken me for the digital process. Olivier lookedallaround and asked me what things were and their purpose. I explained proudly about the processes and procedures. I showed him my chemical collection dating back 150 years. I showed him my bottles of Gennert’s Amidol and explained how Cole Weston had the same.


So now the time is here for Olivier to head back to his family. He will take with him some books and my beloved Andre’. Go to the light my friend…but get the hell out of my darkroom……

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6 thoughts on “Streets of Philadelphia … A Visual Diary … Page 52 … Olivier Duong … Observations …Farewell Andre’”

  1. Ha! Olivier must be smiling all the way back home! Darkroom! Still have mine. In storage. I feel the romance in its memory, but distance in its practicality. I always believe that I might one day return to its sweet dark poetic embrace…..

    1. Yes, Olivier is smiling. I have to be honest, with the Pen F, I feel complete. No need for the X100s but I will keep my GR II always. Have a good night…..

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