For the last couple of years I have made sure that I photograph first thing in the morning on the first day of the new year. This morning was no exception, but it had a little twist. I have been driving by this particular scene each day, twice a day, for over a year and today was my day to stop and photograph it. The delay is due mostly to the fact that it is only accessible from a busy on-ramp in the Washington Park Arboretum. But today being a holiday, and one that had many people sleeping in, I was able to park off to the side of the ramp and photograph undisturbed for long periods of time.
Tony Sweet, Eddie Soloway, and William Neill (among many) are doing marvelous impressionistic work. It’s fresh, engaging, and their work is expanding the boundary of our vision, much as the Impressionist painters did in the 1860’s and 1870’s. It took decades for their revolutionary way of seeing to catch on with the public and then with the art collectors. Things haven’t changed a great deal. During a layover in Denver International Airport on Tuesday, I looked up and saw Ernst Haas’ image of a toreador and bull in motion advertising some service or product….to which I paid no attention. But the image stuck. These were some of the first, and still most engaging, images of movement in color and they are from the 1950’s! Freeman Patterson carried that particular baton a long way with his dedication to impressionistic vision and experimenting with layers of images and other darkroom techniques. Tony, Bill, and Eddie are standing on his shoulders and reaching new heights and hopefully, new collectors and buyers.
Are my images radically different? Not at all. Then why make them, you might ask…..I make them to refine my vision, to teach me to see more deeply and to know what my camera will see when I am using a different technique. I make them to understand what it is that is pleasing or intriguing about a given image. In this way I might be able to teach with more clarity or to open a door to further exploration of the subject. And finally, I make my images to know myself, to stay engaged in the conversation of living.
|” There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are”|
K — As usual, beautiful imagery! Reminds me of some of Tony Sweet’s work. Images have a good feel!
Thanks very much….quite a compliment…and I’ll take it!
I too try to do some quiet and contemplative photography on the first day of the year. It is certainly quiet early in the day as most people are still sleeping, recuperating from the partying the night before.
Your images are gorgeous and inspiring. It isn’t easy finding subjects that work well with this technique. You saw this scene and knew that it had potential and made the effort to get there to one day of the year that you could really work with it. Fantastic planning and again gorgeous results.
Missing shooting with you,
Thanks so much for your generous comments. You may remember that this tradition started with you and Donna on a frigid morning at the ponds in Leetown!
Thank you. I miss shooting with you too. We have to correct that!
Oh, so that was the start of the tradition. Wonderful. That was a nice cold morning but with some interesting images to be made. I hope that we get to shoot together soon.