August 22, 2013; Rockport, ME.
“What are you hunting for? It could be the Place or the Elements in the place.”
“Hhmmn. I’ll know when I see it, perhaps when I feel it.” Sometimes, I will have a sense of what I am looking for. I have a subject or setting in mind, but never know if I will find it or what else I’ll find.
This year has been more of a hunting year than the last few. January in New Mexico, I knew that there were Sand Hill Cranes and Snow Geese in Bosque Del Apache. I did not know of the beauty to be found at White Sands or snow in the wind in Santa Fe. Vermont in May was Spring and wet, that means waterfalls and lush landscape but no Autumn leaves. In July, there was some urban hunting in Paris, Luxembourg, Brugge, and Brussels. That was “hit and run” shooting with too little time to savor the urban scenery. August in Connecticut; what would there be in the Litchfield Hills? Rurals and Covered Bridges. Next week, if the weather is OK, hunting in northern Maine and Quebec along the St Lawrence. Might there be a touch of early color in the swamp maples? Will I find my French ancestor’s grave stone in St Jean Port Joli?
What am I really hunting for? Elements, Elements that converse, Shapes and Textures of elements. These elements are living there, living somewhere. Pieces, Pieces taken out of the context, Resonants of the place.
I bring them home, inside me, because the elements resonate with me. The camera records the Elements but not the Resonance. How to bring that resonance out, to re-feel it, to share it with someone else. As a writer of prose or of poetry, I could search for the words, the patterns and textures of the words to convey the feeling. As a photographer, I could try to present that resonance in visuals. Visuals projected or printed. Projected visuals are there for seconds, and then gone; gone to be replaced by another. The Resonance seems to be in the pattern of the visuals. Prints remain; they look back at you, silently. How to imbue the print with a feeling, a feeling of the Resonance. How to converse with this silent image? What tools can I use to speak with it to explore what it wants to say to me?
Birches in clumps; in a small park in downtown Rockport, Maine. I saw it and it saw me as I walked by. The yellow street light lit the birches that were close. Those clumps further back sat in dimmer light. Metering on a near birch trunk, I set the camera for the light and placed it on the tripod. Exposure time about 30 seconds and then camera processing for more seconds before I could preview the image. With the lines of light and spreads of darks, it felt like a Black and White image. Now I need to talk with the image.
“Travel light and wear a smile.” Jack Holmes