Randall Romano – Peterborough Public Library 2022
"The photographs presented in this exhibition represent a closeness of people from the Before Time, a recent yet a seemly long time ago, when people were in close contact preceding the pandemic. In the Before Time people were moving quickly through the urban streets, unmasked and in close proximity to each other in a relaxed normality."
The Before Time
Monday to Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm
Friday & Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm
Sunday: 2 pm - 5 pm
Meet the Photographer
Tuesday April 5, 12 & 19
2 pm to 4 pm
The Before Time Artistic Statement
Since March 2020 the Covid Virus has changed the world. Our ability as humans to be together freely and without anxiety was altered by the pandemic. As a documentary street photographer I walked the downtown sidewalks of Toronto’s financial district (FD) from 2015 until early 2020, capturing life as it was just before the pandemic and the unexpected alterations to normal life, which we all took for granted.
The photographs presented in this exhibition represent a closeness of people from the Before Time, a recent yet a seemly long time ago, when people were in close contact preceding the pandemic. In the Before Time people were moving quickly through the urban streets, unmasked and in close proximity to each other in a relaxed normality. Life in Toronto’s (FD) was vibrant and busy, as working from home was not yet readily an option. In fact 250,000 to 300,000 people commuted into the city to work in the large downtown office towers. Toronto’s FD is of global importance being the seventh largest financial district in the world after: London, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, and Shanghai.
This exhibition is a reflection on the importance of documentary street photography and it’s ability to capture events and life as it was. Street photography today is still in most cases, an honest representation of life, at a time when photography is at risk of not accurately documenting reality. Photographing people on the streets is also a historical genre of photography going back to its beginnings in the nineteenth century. Many questions are raised today about the purpose or ethics of photographing people candidly or unaware on the streets. Not only is it legal to photograph people respectively in public places, where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, but also important in regards to documenting historical aspects of our culture. The Before Time Exhibition attempts to present this historical documentation of our culture even in relatively recent times. Perhaps reminders of what was and a strong hope for what might again be.
Randall Romano Bio
For over 45 years I have been obsessed with photography, beginning in my teenage years with a Konica 35mm SLR camera making analogue images on film and transparencies. Initially, the camera was a gateway to help better notice and document the beauty of the natural world, one I still find fascinating and continue to explore to this day.
In the mid 1990’s to 2014, I ran a photography company called Turtle Pond Photography working for over 20 commercial clients and being published in over 15 print and online editorial publications. In recent years, I have been obsessed with documentary street photography having completed workshops with esteemed Magnum photographers, as well as completing university level courses delving into the history of the photography. As a result I created a body of work on street photography and researched all aspects of the genre. This gained knowledge and work led me to begin teaching educational presentations on photography emphasizing the best methods to achieve a higher level. So far I have delivered 5 different evening presentations to 20 different camera clubs in Ontario. I also have enjoyed volunteering my time to a variety of non-for profit organizations including: the SPARK Photo Festival, CAPA (Canadian Association for Photographic Arts), Peterborough Toastmasters and Camp Kawartha.
Photography today finds me as obsessed as I was as a teenager, making images not only in a documentary fashion on the street, but also in the landscape genre to capture the beauty of nature. I believe the camera’s strength is its ability to capture fleeting moments, to stop time and create a sense of curiosity in the viewer. If a still image is to be successful it has to illustrate something missed and something fleeting. Chasing this fleeting moment of uniqueness is a true joy, allowing me to better savior life.