Xose Gago, an alchemist of the Photography Under this title, an extensive dossier of fifty works of this prestigious researcher of photographic chemistry is presented. A tireless worker and essayist, he is a …
Xose Gago Pesqueira
My name is Xosé Gago Pesqueira, and I was born in August 1946, a year of which I remember nothing and of which I can say nothing, and therefore, I do not say …
Although I bought my first camera in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 1963, was in 1971, when a stinging interest in learning true photography, that I bought a correspondence course and I learned some things. But it was in 1974 when really I got to the dark room to experiment and find out for myself “what was going on inside” both in the emulsions and in developers, and thus began my true vocation, turned into passion as I realized how big the “inner world” of the emulsions for the physicochemical reactions with light and developers, which is an unthinkable “great philosophy” for those not “going into” that world of theoretical and practical knoweldge what it is going on within the “guts” of an emulsion getting the light regulated by a diaphragm and shutter speed, and what else is also happening when electrons given by a developer get into physical contact (or chemical, as you see it, or both simultaneously, as it really is) with the exposed silver halide and latent image included . . .
In that moment, in Madrid, the following year, (1975) were opended examinations for Professional Photographer, and there I go. I did pass the exam and I got the “Carnet de Empresa Con Responsabilidad Nº 8300” [Company Licence With Liability No. 8300], issued by the Paper & Print Trade Union, thus becoming a legally accredited Professional Photographer. (Twelve years before the professional licenses had been suspended). Of course, I opened a photo studio with the commercial name GAGO PHOTOGRAPHY and I dedicated myself to the craft while I used to experiment with the negatives and positives of the photos that I took to the customers, so part of the research (which was exhaustive) was for free . . .
I must say that, to give the highest quality of all (negative, image, etc..) I started working with 9 × 12 (cm) cameras, and only a bit later, as I was getting through experimentation, better quality of pictures, I move to work in 6 × 9, then to 6 × 6, and finally ended up doing all my work in 35 mm, even the work so called “of study” and photographs for advertising, where all these works were always made with 9 x 12 plates.
In 1990, given the quality of my products, even though there was still much for the “great perfection” of them, and in the company of Juan Cancela Rey, founded the company “BUENAS IMPRESIONES “ [GOOD IMPRESSIONS] engaged in the manufacture of specialty chemicals for black and white photography, with qualities unknown to the general public dedicated to this profession or hobby.
The quality of photographic products of this small company founded in 1990 was such a success and renown, that two years after its founding (in 1992) we signed an agreement of collaboration between KODAK SPAIN and BUENAS IMPRESIONES (up to 1995 when the Kodak Spain board of directors changed), in exchange for addressing technical queries from Kodak customers to solve photographic chemicals problems. Correspondingly, Kodak allowed BUENAS IMPRESIONES to sell in Spain photographic material of their brand, only sold in the American market and not shipped to Europe.
During the years of the relationship with Kodak Spain (1992-95), Kodak advertised our company as partner in their product catalog and recommended 24 of our products (out of 32 in total) to get different results with the standard ones, where some of our developers even in direct competition with the Kodak ones, such as the “Tecnipan”, a specific developer for Technical Pan film (Kodak) in competition with their own developer “TECHNIDOL” without comparison results in our favor, and also the developer “Infrared 800”, specific for infrared film (Kodak had no specific developer for this film brand) as well as the “Ultramax” developer for Kodak T-Max films, which improved greatly in gradational quality, fine grain, and microdensities staggered to the point of never cover up the negatives when there was overexposure or development errors, always giving negatives of unimaginable quality compared to any other commercial developers, of any brand.
We have also been in relationships with the company Fuji Film and others who were interested in some of our products, but we did not get to do our relations firm for several causes. GOOD IMPRESSIONS closed in 2001 and the following year I opened the PRODUCTS GAGO company also engaged in manufacturing chemicals for black and white photography, but now with many more selective and specialized for a photograph more sybarite and perfectionist products and not for the photography in general, as the market was falling at high speed owed to the advent of the digital age unstoppable for its comfort, its immediacy and great publicity for its introduction into the market, fully achieved in 2004 when the “Sonimag Photo” Hall that year led to any exhibitor booths their analog cameras of any kind.
Roughly, perhaps, this is the most important of my photographic travel both as a hobby and profession. Many other things are left, but for those who want to know more, you can see my “Currácolo” [this is a mix between curro (slang for work) and curriculum (resume)*] even though it is not complete, searching the Internet for PRODUCTS GAGO and clicking on the desired entry, or going directly to www.fotografiaquimica.com