There is no way to describe the relief that washed over me when I finally found this photograph after having lost it for about 8 years. I was pretty sure it was in my house still but I sure couldn’t put my hands on it. Of course it came to light when I was looking for something else.
This was taken on a frozen February morning in Winnipeg… it was 1979 and Lon and I had flown in from Boston to catch a total eclipse of the sun. The entire trip was rather surreal… especially standing in a remote and utterly frozen field many miles north of Winnipeg as the light began to take on another dimension. He was able to concentrate on his telescopes and the cameras attached but all I could do was live it. To this day, I can see the light coming across the open spaces… kind of pink and, somehow, about 3 feet high.
That train left at midnight and we were on it, westbound for Oregon. Even though our relationship was on the wane, it was the beginning of a new life here.
About 4 years ago, Opera Boy and I drove to Neskowin very early in the morning… we had a date with an unusually low minus-tide. An old forest that is usually submerged had made itself visible on the beach and word had gotten out. It was interesting and gratifying to see the number of people who made the trek to see it… knowing it would not happen often.
I chose to shoot it with one of my pinhole cameras… the image seems to translate more into a soft history than something sharp and clear. A history of trees turned to ghosts.
In a perfect world, my days would be spent wandering tiny towns with a camera. Punctuate the town time with open spaces… both peopled and un… I am a sucker for this planet we call home. Last year, in late September, Opera Boy and I took three days off and we set our base camp in Lincoln City. Continue reading →
My mother hauled me out of school one rainy day in November of my senior year to drive her to Lynchburg, Virginia. She had been hired to shoot the small, seminary campus for an upcoming brochure. She had never gotten her driver’s license… mostly walking or biking to work all the years I knew her. On this particular Friday, she had decided that I would drive and that I would also shoot with her. Fine by me.
I remember sitting on the cold floor of the men’s dorm quietly watching the two guys studying at the end of the hall. I took three frames and in one of them the pipe completed the composition… I am not sure if they knew I was there.
Later, Mom studied these, smiling, and said they weren’t necessary for the brochure… she gave me one of the most important photographs of my life.
So many cranes… it was all bigger than I expected. We walked from Wall Street over to the windy construction site… big enough that you can’t really see across it very well. Caught in the steady traffic of the walking rush hour, we worked our way over to The Winter Garden where there is a place you can look into the site. Couldn’t get past the inner images of the way the streets must have looked that day.
Today, they are dedicating a more beautiful space to so many people… I wonder if we will ever heal.
The year was 1965… the summer I was 14. Walkabout wasn’t the term we used then but it best describes the type of wandering with cameras that we did. On this sunny day, Mom and I were exploring downtown Roanoke, Virginia… a bigger place than our own town of Salem about 20 minutes away. We were near the train station and I remember she took a great shot of a man walking on the tracks… we were almost above him on an overpass and the light was snapping off of the black rails. Down on the platform I found this luggage cart… it was shot on Tri-X in a Yashica Twin Lens Reflex…. I loved that camera and used it until my last year in high school when my Nikon life began.
Fast forward to 2011… one of my goals is to archive my portfolio. This project involves culling the strongest pieces in my files so that I can create a body of work that might survive into the future. This particular negative had gotten so beaten up that I couldn’t have printed it straight… lots of scratches and holes from traveling all over the country in my many moves. I have learned to take better care of my film since but all of it will need a certain amount of coddling. The final outcome should be everything in one place, scanned, reworked and archived to last.
What I love about photographs is sharing someone else’s viewpoint… sitting behind their eyepiece. I don’t know what will happen to my work when I am gone but part of me wants to think that others will enjoy it somewhere down the road.
I think we have had four sunny days this month… I know we played hooky for two and did much needed yard work for two. Today might be one more. Our weather is a real tease this time of year but I am always grateful to live here. A few days ago, Opera Boy and I went to Woodburn to see the Tulip fields. Of course it wasn’t one of the sunny days, but tulips aren’t around all the time. I have tried twice before to be there when the fields were full of color without too many people… this time we got it right.
I took my Nikon with my 60mm but I also took my Kodak Duaflex, circa 1950, for a very different treatment. The next four images are from a merging of old camera and new camera… I hope you like the look.
The sky was as much a part of the show as the flowers… we only got a little rain but we sure were a muddy mess when we got back to the car!
Venice. This time in the beginning of February, 2007. (I try to word it in such a fashion that by some happy chance, I’ll get to go again someday.) Opera Boy and I were there for four fog cloaked days this trip… a much different city than in the Spring. Funny that both arrivals and departures were on sunny days. We had come in on the midnight train from Paris… twelve hours of rocketing through a dark landscape I’d liked to have seen. The first sight of Venice is one I have not photographed yet… it is a place where all of the land vehicles stop and all of the water starts. So far, it brings me to my visual knees and I am consumed just being there. Next time I will collect myself and make a point of catching that amazing transition. Our first chore this trip was to find our hotel and a laundromat.
The fog settled in and we spent the next couple of days wandering at will.
This day brought me a blister, a few small pieces of local pottery and three glass cherries each for me and my sister. Best of all, it gave me new vistas at every turn… a veritable treasure box of images.
The Straw Bridge, the lower one with the crowd on it is pretty much what the whole city is like. Tourism is huge here and probably not a little abusive. I came away from both trips with a sense of wanting to help preserve this special place. If you go, treat her gently.