On this adventure, I managed to snag a few pictures at Radio Room, with Cliff Gagliardo. We happened to meet up after Cliff spotted an Instagram post I shared, while I was on a business trip in Portland. I know Cliff from his days at Leica, where he was one of Leica Store L.A.'s most talented photographers. He has a unique shooting style and dedication to the craft -- one I have yet to see exhibited by anyone else. Cliff is one of the few photographers I know who still shoots and develops film, a unique thing in an of itself. Cliff's former weapon of choice was an MP with a 50 cron (I believe). The most recent addition to his arsenal is the R7. His images and perspective are truly inspirational.
We met up for coffee. Cliff checked out the crowd, while I checked out the surrounding architecture. Portland is an awesome place, if you want to go somewhere and feel like you are in the movie Ghost, trying to communicate through Whoopie Goldberg. In Portland, there is no urgency to do or be anything. It is wonderful! After coffee, Cliff wanted to stop by a clothing store that seemed to cater to the rugged outdoorsman in all of us. Everything was made for being in the woods, tracking, and killing. I guess it made sense -- after all, the common term for photographing is "shooting."
Later that night, we ended up at his Airbnb home, which was quite nice. His roommates were very down to earth guys, with a Southern hospitality that made me forget I was in the Pacific Northwest. One of the guys who lived there was a technical writer and pretty much ran the place. He was the adult figure of the house, but still possessed a very youthful vibe (pictured top right). Pictured at the table is Cliff, in silent contemplation.
Cliff has always championed the use of film, with Leica's cameras. The film workflow is an integral part of his creative process and it works for him. I used to be the same way, until life steered me in a different direction. Now I hardly use film, except when necessary.
I have visited Portland twice, without ever having seen the show Portlandia. I watched a bit of it last night and found that while some of the characters look like they hail from Portland, they are nowhere near as cool as the people I met, while visiting. Sure, the existential talks were frequent, but I found it to be quite comforting--meaningful conversation is always a comfort.