Never have I seen a classroom whose blank walls and rows of seats did not remind me of a garden at the end of winter. Nor have I seen one filled with new students that did not remind me of an orchard before the buds had broken in the spring sun. And meager botanist that I am I could not distinguish one tree from the other.
There are a handful of photographers who have achieved the stature of poets, and Pirkle Jones is one of them. A young one, perhaps, whose output is still small, and who still feels a humble reverence before the giants who were his masters, Edward Weston and Ansel Adams.
The term "creative" has become as all embracing as its twin "documentary", and almost as diluted of specific meaning. Both of the words, like generous umbrellas, keep the rain off of a wide variety of mutually distrustful photographers.
When those photographs that seem to be out of the essence of the man himself are placed beside all that a man can or has photographed, it is in the distillation that we find his secret worth and his own rich world. This may not be all that a man is, but it may well be his uniqueness.
San Franciscans, and more particularly San Francisco photographers, were treated last fall to a vivid and intense photographic exhibit called San Francisco Weekend. Displayed were 107 photographs by 28 photographers showing a cross-section of city life photographed on a single summer weekend.
The idea of expendability about to be presented is going to distress a few of our favorite photographers; and the disturbance will be directly proportional to their ideals of quality in photographs and their ideals of integrity in photographers.