Fred Rosenberg is a familiar figure in Nelson, shutter clicking at Remembrance Day ceremonies, Baker St. parades and other gatherings.
He’s been the man behind the beautiful black-and-white photographs that chronicle transformations, from the growth of our public radio station to the death of a friend. In 2010, Touchstones Nelson hosted a retrospective of Rosenberg’s work from 1999 to 2008.
Now, photographs from the 1960s and ‘70s are on display for the first time at the Nelson Public Library in September and October.
“It’s unsettling working with old material,” says Rosenberg. “They’re all familiar, but missing attachment. I still remember the experiences I had when taking them; they still strike a yes response, and I don’t know why. A typical response to seeing them anew is: how could I have done this? How did I know this? How do I look at them today and find the keepers without nostalgic fog having a say?”
Parade Crowd, San Jose California, 1966/67 Fred Rosenberg photo
The negatives had always caught his eye, and yet he has never printed or shown them before. As for the technology, in this age of digital photography, Rosenberg still loves the darkroom best.
“I got my hands wet making these prints. I love the darkroom craft,” he says.
Rosenberg has drawn praise for an insightful eye for subject and composition in street photography and in portraiture. This show presents an opportunity to see the early part of the story of Rosenberg’s development as an artist, and to live the nostalgia of the photographs alongside the photographer.