Archive for Notes from the field…
This is an unusual winter day, in central New York…wet and windy after a night and morning of torrid rain. We continue this winter’s pattern of unusually mild weather with spikes of freeze.
The rainbow was a nice surprise, Henry and Valentine sauntering beneath it, too.
Ah, winter in central New York…
Just over five years ago (after too many years in LA), I moved to central New York to renovate an 1820’s farmhouse that I had bought sight unseen off of a Facebook post.
Central New York. The beauty of the area, the seasons, the open spaces…brought me to my knees. Literally. It was what made of me an Iphonographer.
It was as if, so far into the middle of nowhere, I could see again.
That first winter was mild and wet, too. I wondered where the fabled heavy snows and ice storms of the NE had gone.
I remain grateful for the reprieve…as do Henry and Valentine. Their endless foraging continues unhampered by pesky ice and snow. Miller (not pictured) continues to lay eggs.
And I continue to take photos with my iPhone, unable still to use it as an actual phone..in the middle of nowhere.
A portrait! What could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound. ~ Charles Baudelaire, 1859 I am an iPhoneographer shooting with natural light. I document the rural life of central New York- those things that are closest to me…the flora, the fauna, the people. With people, I like to capture the portrait in a nano second, even if the sitters are posing…I wait for the moment between breaths, the second where the guard drops in order to capture the essence in front of me. iPhones are tricky in situations with movement so patience is key.
Check out this wonderful writer, Maili Halme Brocke, she has posted one of my photos and a bit about JOY http://myjoyfortheday.blogspot.com
So, its about 11 degrees out, snow on the ground, and I come home late from the art studio and, since they’ve been in the house for hours, I let the dogs out.
Chevy disappears into the night.
I call and call and call. Time passes, I wait for his scratch at the door. Now I want to go to bed. I try again but despite the cold, he isn’t coming back.
About a half an hour ago, he let me know with a distant bark that he was at Tim’s barn. An acre or so away. The ancient barn I take pictures of incessantly. That big, dark behemoth of a barn that scares me just looking at it.
The temperture is dropping. I put on my boots, coat, hat, gloves and grab the flashlight and walk into the dark. I love this dog. There isn’t any other way about it.
As I cross the field, I hear the crunch of snow beneath my boots, a billion stars twinkle in the sky, in the distance a dog barking urgently, not Chevy, probably coyote hunters.
The moon is bright, the snow is blue. I stand beside the silohs and the moon streams between them, I wish I had a camera, I don’t even have my iphone, it is insanely beautiful. Insanely cold.
I think about the time I was caught outside, alone, in a typhoon on a late Hong Kong night, morning really, and how I almost died from hypothermia (I embellish), my clothes were heavy with the tropical rain that came down in solid sheets when the wind wasn’t whipping it sideways. I was lost, a bit drunk from a typhoon party in a bar I’d walked out of an hour before..walked right into rain so solid that I lost sight of the other patrons and since then I’d seen no other living thing. Lightning was jagging the sky and illuminated a dead cat floating down the sidewalk, now a river around my feet…I was in mortal danger. But it was just so beautiful.
Tim and Margo (the barn’s owners and my only neighbors) are on a long trip, there is no one here in the night but me. Careful, I think, don’t fall down, there will be no one by. Until spring.
The silohs are black giants. Looking up at them and the moon, I don’t feel so alone.
Finally, I hear the sound of a dog galloping across the crunchy snow- it’s Chevy, full of burs and bursting with the joy of having such an adventure to share in the night with me.
I scold him half-heartedly.
We head home by the light of the moon.
In LA, if I wanted to go somewhere by car and it was 30 miles away I’d best leave an hour early, if it was rush hour, which is really rush HOURS…buffer that with anywhere from 15 to 30 extra minutes.
Unless, of course, there is an accident which means all bets are off and you best have a good friend to sext for the next 5 hours.
This scene is the closest to pandemonium a driver encounters in CNY.
This is an Amish man running errands, one must presume. I don’t have many great pictures of Amish buggies, the Amish don’t want to be photographed and therefore I catch them on the run from the driver’s seat with my iPhone. Not the safest thing to do but typically there aren’t any other drivers around and I make sure that I follow all the rules of the road while giving them a wide berth.
My job in LA, for a long while, was in Manhattan Beach. I was in Pacific Palisades. A lovely jaunt up the coast. If you have all day to do it. Morning’s were best, the 30 mile trip took 45. Evenings, when you are so ready to be home took up to 2 hours. Fuck the coast!
Out here, 30 miles is 30 minutes, no if ands or buts.
I am trying to edit down around 20,000 iPhone photos for my April show at the Cherry Branch Gallery.
All is going well (at 4 in the morning) until I get to the hundreds (thousands?) of Poppy pictures I took last summer.
I am obsessed with my Poppies. I get why people boil them down to goo and smoke them (is that how it works?), I would too, as a matter of fact I thought about it many times last summer. There is something so hypnotic and narcotic about just looking at them, why not smoke them?
Cray, Cray. Total Poppy madness.
If the madness moves you…
Central New York is a beautiful place, yet sometimes it is the man-made wreck that catches your eye.
If you’d like to have this image on your wall…
My garden is a bit haphazard, true to my ADD nature. First, I started out with great plans but ended up throwing seeds where they might land, forgetting where they were planted, watering everything I could in hopes that they would remember what I had set them out to do.
I over planted tomatoes and zucchini. I didn’t plant anything else. Besides wildflower mix. Better to walk before you run, I say.
In the summer of 2012, I stalked Dunga Brook’s gardens with my iPhone and its wondrous *Olloclip attachment.
I lost track of time as I took photograph after photograph of the tiny little things that made my childhood so dreamlike.
Through this haphazard gardening and photography, I reconnected to the flora and the fauna closest to my feet and dearest to my heart.
I can’t wait for summer to come again, can you?
If you’d like to buy a copy of this photograph, please do and thank you!
“To the complaint, ‘There are no people in these photographs,’ I respond, There are always two people: the photographer and the viewer.” ― Ansel Adams