A tribute to a dear friend, business associate and genius in both
analogue and digital photography
Gene Nocon, buddy, brother, friend and life long working partner to my photographic career deserves at least this page in my work. Meeting him shortly after graduating photographic college, privileged to be 'best man' at his wedding to Liz and to have spent the hours, days and months, years in the darkroom and then light room, as he called his digital career, was a privilege.
His mastery and operation as a photographic genius was unsurpassed. Prints we created together were each and every one a masterpiece, through dint of his genius and expertise. As he once quoted, the true founder of photography must be the person who impressed the negative onto a durable captured surface. The printer is essentially a major part of the art. He was that in droves. Right hand to my left!
His development of 'lith' techniques was hailed by the great names, Karsh, Parkinson, Bailey and hosts of others as revolutionary. His Nocon timer itself revolutionized the darkroom, enabling photographers to deepen their expertise. His 'flashing' techniques broke bounds and amazed the likes of Kodak and Ilford who themselves were responsible for photographic material innovation.
Most of all he was the most self effacing, kind hearted and generous person to have known. I may have learned a lot in our darkroom times together technically but I also learned the art of selfless action he espoused over all the time I knew him.
That is why he was able to work with Royalty, becoming photo mentor to one of them as much as an inspiration to taxi drivers, rank amateurs and professionals alike. His humour was dry and so very funny. His jokes unique as well as badly plaigerized. His heart huge and sorely missed.
One of my favourite stories he used to share of his meetings with the Royals (convention is you do not share these conversations, but to hell with convention!) was when the private secretary to Princess Margaret called to enquire when the Princess's prints would be ready, Gene without pausing replied down the phone:
"Please tell her, Ma'am, one day your prints will come!"
You cannot but love the man and as for his skills - thank you Gene, thank you in eternity!