Archive for outdoors
“Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.”
Lately, I have been pushing myself to get better at black and white photography. A good black and white photo seems a poem compared to the novella you find in most of my color photographs. Simple is better. Clear, clean, brilliant, illuminated and ecclesiastical helps.
Here are my most recent attempts.
April 6th at 5pm, opening reception at Cherry Branch Gallery, Cherry Valley, NY.
“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
Leaving LA after 25 years felt like the right thing to do. LA was a pit stop, a very complicated, very expensive pit stop on my journey through life.
On the road from LA to NY, I followed my son in his truck and took iPhone photos through my truck’s windshield. Mostly of his tail lights.
I’m an old hand at leaving. But this cross-country move was different, I was uprooting someone else’s life.
Connor was off to college in the fall and somehow I’d justified it in my mind that moving the day after he graduated from HS in LA would be the best timing for both of us.
I didn’t cry during our going away party, I didn’t cry as we packed, when we drove away, as the hours and the miles across the deserts and mountains ticked by.
Across the plains, the skies were a cathedral of thunderheads, rainbows that went straight up and down, lightning that streaked sideways.
I took photos through my truck window of those things, too.
We landed in central New York to renovate an 1820’s farmhouse that I’d bought, sight unseen, from a post of Facebook.
As my new life began to take shape in the summer before Connor left for university, I took photographs of everything.
By the time the old house was renovated, Connor was at school and I had taken well over 20,000 photographs.
And I had carpal tunnel from uploading and editing all those photos but I couldn’t stop- the beauty of the land surrounding me was astounding.
I cried at night because my arm hurt so bad but the tears were different from the tears that I cried as I followed his red tail lights into those storms, heading east.
Those were tears of joy, realizing what a fine young man he had turned into, a brave soul, ready for adventure, a young man who faced the open road with open mind and heart.
My show at the Cherry Branch Gallery is a celebration of central New York and the life one can find in the middle of letting go.
I love old barns, each one a snowflake and their elegant dissolve, slow motion as it is, is a thing of beauty to behold.
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
~John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and trouble is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?” ~John Keats
Via Kevin Sessums: “John Keats penned this in 1819, to George and Georgina Keats in a letter that has become known as The Vale of Soul-Making.”
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.
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
You can’t see it but this bucket is filled with bird seed. My White Capped Chickadee sees it and has claimed it.
This bird lets me know when it is time to fill the bird feeder, he buzzes around me like a fairy casting a spell.
He has trained me to let his food run out so that I can hear his tiny wings whirring behind my back as he circles me.
He as also trained me to set out giant buckets of food so that he will sit still and pose for me.
I love this little guy.