It is said that gratitude is the most healthful emotion. I would argue humility is part and parcel of being grateful. Proximity to the infinite, and the infinitesimal, can elicit feelings of gratitude. The product of clicking a shutter is a humble response to these cosmic places and making photographs is my way of responding and sharing. This, I believe, is a fundamental responsibility in this life.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Monday, September 30, 2013
Every so often, you come across the incongruous and must record it. But a record doesn't have to be forensic or the stuff of ledgers. We camped among the ponderosa pines this summer and above our heads, someone had nailed this joker to the tree. We didn't notice it for some time but that sinister face caught my eye while boiling some water for coffee. I could barely reach the spot just below where I held my camera. I liked looking up into the canopy with the deeply receding space going out of focus.
Sometimes an image can't be explained. We just become attracted and act. That's reason enough.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Escaping the city to lands afar can be my source of renewal. I crave the edge of space, the penumbra of vastness and the evidence of it. There are signs of such epochal infiniteness that are tiny events and I look for them. They are the ephemera of the universe. I know, blah-di-blah blah. But it's true, we stop and snap and it's gorgeous, but I like to find the quarks that point to it. Sometimes they are fragmentary solids, but they may just as well be eventful. It's all church.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
It's not easy to ignore the iconic. And not easy NOT to present it straight. When it all comes together, when the stars align, the ducks get in a row...you have to take it, right? But that doesn't stop one from digging for surprises. Sometimes it's a matter of taking a knee. Other times you have to have temerity, scrabble and put yourself through discomfort, risk personal injury, contort. Much more often than not it's fruitless. But once in a while, maybe just from another minute of looking, magic can happen. Try them all- natural framing, minimizing context, startling arrangements, switching point-of-view, ironic juxtaposition, mystery, deep recession, mimicry, on and on. And, once again, this may have nothing to do with photography. Brace yourself with a splash of ice water and try something else.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
The approach. My chest is fully open, ears back, eyes almost defocused. An imposing structure before me, I like to have my sense of scale fully on. This is one of those subjects I'm going to envelop and be enveloped by. I wish I could fully describe the openness I feel at times like these- to see detail and entirety at the same time. It is a trait we possess that can be nurtured. I am challenged by this opportunity to see with an absence of thought. Moving around and through an object in space is so metaphoric to me...the same opportunity presents itself in life every day. Seeing situations, particularly conflict, requires this kind of openness to everything at once and all the possible solutions. They just percolate up. We just have to let them.
Monday, September 23, 2013
Fox, Oregon. Open space. Gothic church. The eye goes right to it, that pioneer spire out in the open undulating hills of eastern Oregon. But wait, as usual, off to the side is the little school and "playground" that could just as easily be ignored. My wife, Kristin, finds it right away. I'm focused on the church but soon notice she's missing. Of course, she's on the swing set. Wow, look at this thing- it's really old school. Ooh, look at these rings. Hey, I can frame up that tree. Wait, there's that shadow on the ground- it's crucial information about what this ring is. And hey, it's about the ring more than the landscape, let's focus on the ring and get that space back there out of focus. And I like that 50/50 top-to-bottom ratio with the circle split in half. And the ring off to one side is much more interesting than in the middle. Voila! That's it. The lesson here is to notice what's off to the side, play with the elements, think about the subject and prioritize things. Then play. It's a playground after all.
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