Thursday, July 24, 2014

Until I feel ready to resume the Kingsley project, I will continue to look for other stuff to photograph here.  I've had the best luck along one particular drive that also brings me to the plantation road. It makes me a bit twitchy to drive past it,  but I'm forcing myself to wait while my imagination incubates what to do next there.   These two were made within a mile or so of each other.  It seems the best 'scapes here usually involve sky and water.  But sometimes, there are trees that compel a photograph as well.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Two things happened to me in the last two days that have had an impact.  One was a Charlie Rose interview with Sally Mann in which she demurred having talent, but acknowledged having tenacity.  To that end, she declared a willingness to rephotograph a subject as many times as it took to get it 'right', and then persistence in the darkroom to realize the best the good negative could surrender.  The second was the purchase of two monographs.  The first was 'here far away' by Pennti Sammallahti, and the second was Wynn Bullock, 'Revelations', a retrospective.  Their impact was to smack me upside the head about what it takes to 'make a picture', rather than render a negative.  Without Photoshop, these traditional artists bring drama and dynamic tension to what would be very ordinary images by intense burning and dodging.  Sometimes those techniques are so subtle you don't notice they've been applied, but the success of other images is entirely due to those blatant manipulations.

I'm in a learning process with the slave cabin pictures.  I need them to be much more dramatic, and that's not easy given what they are in reality.  Here are two that I've pushed to the edge of credibility, although they still look less than I want them to.  So, I may have to rephotograph the lot in a different way.  Tenacity and patience are the crucibles of progress. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

When the Kingsley slave cabins were inhabited, the area around them, and all the acres beyond were cleared for cultivation.  The riotous growth of flora in the interval from then until now is astonishing to a northerner who is accustomed to slow growth, and a minimal understory.  One would expect clutter, but whole forests of trees risen as these are is a phenomenon new to me.