The Photographer's Face
Christopher Bernard
[Total Pages: 13]
Bernard Page 1

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    He's never counted them -- a fool's errand, he thinks. Thousands culled from the tens of thousands he has taken. The ten thousand worlds.
    Organized by year: '65 through 2006. Forty-one years of a sometimes checkered but not, in the end, unsuccessful career snapping everything and everyone from blank-eyed celebrities to dyed vegetables, the idle, or spastic, rich to the tormented or numbed and drugged-out poor, the exotic to the banal, the powerful to the pitiful, the for no clear or any justifiable reason famous to the irredeemably and punitively obscure. The boxes for the last several years fairly skimpy, like the first.

    He hasn't saved every single picture he ever took, as some did. That seemed an unnecessary form of masochism. William Lamb knows he is a sinner: he doesn't have to shove his nose into every one of his sins.
    It's hot, silent except for the whisper of a car passing over a nearby hill.
    He stands in his bathrobe, his hair gray and whitening and unkempt. The young've all gone digital, they don't even know what a negative is anymore! he thinks wryly. What have we got here? He pulls at random and holds up to the light a dusty square of celluloid.
    What have we got here?
    A middle-aged black woman screams at him in skeletal white, half-turned around on a stoop, glaring back at him, her eyes twin storms of rage.