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Catherine Roberts Leach  Four Images With Commentary

Catherine took this photograph in the 1990s with a single-lens-reflex film camera that we probably bought in 1977. Actually, I bought the camera for myself and never used it. This landscape was on the road between Pine Mountain Club, California and Taft, California. country CONNECTIONS, our publication, was printed in Taft, and we made this trip once a month. It's a wonderful image and is framed and hanging on our wall, well lighted. So well lighted that I couldn't get a clean shot of it because of reflections from the glass. I didn't want to un-frame it and scan it; I was afraid that I would damage the print. So I tried to photograph it on the wall while standing on a ladder, various angles, with and without artificial lighting. Then I took the photo off the wall and shot it on the dining room table and finally on our bed. You can see reflections of both of my arms in one of the images below, and the top of my head is clearly visible in the lower right photo, as are some veritcal blinds. And that's a reflection of a track lighting bulb in the photo just below and to the right—not the sun. The large image above was taken with the framed photo lying on our bed. When I shot it I didn't use a flash; I took a breath to steady the camera, all that; and I adjusted the photographed image as best I could in Photoshop. But none of these reproductions does the original image justice. In the photo at the lower left, I'm clearly visible. My apologies. A beautiful image by Catherine.


This was our car sometime in the late seventies; we lived in Studio City, California. It was OK then to have such a car and live in Studio City. This print is framed and hanging on our wall but was accessible—no professional framing job—so I removed it from the frame and scanned it. I didn't attempt to clean it up in Photoshop. There's obvious discoloration around the edges—I'm talking about the print, not the car. The car was beyond discoloration. We really loved that car. During my acting days I once drove it to the Beverly Hills Hotel for a lunch date—with one of my high-powered agents probably. I told the valet parker to be very careful with it. And before he parked it I walked around it with great seriousness, "I know where every dent is; I don't want to see another one when I come out," I said. And then the valet guy and I laughed, a lot. Once Cathy drove it to a famous joint in Burbank, The Smokery or something. When she paid the valet parker she handed him a twenty and said, "I'm sorry, that's all I have." The valet, looking at the car, misunderstood and said, "That's all right, keep it. No problem." She explained—laughed and explained—that she meant that she didn't have a smaller bill. I loved that car. I love Cathy's image of that car, taken with the same film SLR.


Same camera, a balcony in New York, 1980s. Cathy had returned for a class reunion. Isn't it a wonderful photo? I love her, and I love her eye. I think I'll shut up now and let you look at the image below. A digital camera now, in 2007; and this photo was taken on Mulholland Drive; she was standing in the middle of the road. I hope she's careful; I love her.

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6 July 2007

All images  Catherine Roberts

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