Sunday, November 08, 2009

Taking Stock

Pine Meadow Brook, October 2009
With excitement and a little trepidation I set out on a project this week. It was to go through my 2009 photos and pick my five favorites for you to critique. The excitement came from looking through the images and trying to narrow it down to five. I am somewhere around fifty now and really struggling with what makes a shot special enough to make the top five. This is trickier than I imagined. The trepidation comes from the critique itself. I was thrown back in time to college art and photo classes that had group critiques. They are a valuable learning tool, but they always made me anxious....
Indian Brook Falls - July 2009
After I had put a few hours into this project of taking stock of my images something else began to happen. I took stock of everything else. I had an embarrassment of riches before me with these beautiful photos I love and loved the process of taking them. The planning, the trips to the locations either solitary or with Wenderina or one of my photo buddies (like brother-in-Law Robbie or my friend Mike or Niece Jessica). On most days The hike alone would have been worth it even if I got no photos. This was proved to me the Saturday morning I got on location and realized the battery in my camera was shot. I of course got really mad at myself for a few minutes, but in the end rather enjoyed the quiet, foggy, two hour sunrise drive. It was somewhere in this process of editing photos that I started to ask a question which led to a revelation. The question was am I responsible for the photos... How much credit can I take? After all I preach on this blog all the time about how more than half of a great nature photo is understanding the location and and being there and setup when you know the light will be right. This led to this thought... I am a truly lucky person. I am lucky to live in apart of the world that is breathtakingly beautiful if you take the time to get off the main roads and go looking for it. I am lucky to have been raised by two people who helped me to grow and appreciate art and the world around me. I am lucky to have married my best friend who does not mind if I disappear for hours on Sunday morning and I am perpetually behind on my chores list around the house so that I can chase the waterfalls and sunsets that I love to photograph. I am lucky to have a life and career that can allow me this time and money spend on art and photography. I am lucky to have photography when I have turned my back on it several times in my life, only to have it come roaring back and remind that a photographer is who I am.

Moodna Viaduct - October 2009
It is amazing how much internal good has come from an external examination of my photos. It really turned into and existential project.

Minnewaska - September 2009
I am back to the photo editing. Will the images I added to this post make it to the top five. I am not sure for I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.

St. Georges Bermuda - May 2009
Keep Makin' Art


JeannetteLS said...

Pine Meadow, Indian Brook, And St. Georges. Those three, for me, speak to what draws me the most in your work. I've written about you and what you do with water and rocks--it's something very different, for me. That molten metal effect you get because of the attention, yes, to light and color--how they play on the water.

But it's more about composition and a sense of movement. I think that's why St. George is there, too. I always want to see what's beyond the picture, because of how you frame the shots. I want to know where the bike might be headed. The beautiful door, the worn paint... what's going on to the left? Who left the bike there? (Lord, I'm runnin' "Who let the dogs out" in my brain) How come those bare tree trunks are there in that stream and where dooes that dark tunnel above the falls go? What's just over that fallen log?

Those pictures, more than the other two, draw me in. They make me want to explore, to go on the walk you went on. Or here the story. Who lives in that door behind the bike? Maybe they will come to the window.

It think that this is where your voice speaks through your photography. In your narrative you hit it--your photography has the voice of a man who feels passionately glad to be in the life he has, at the moment he is snapping the pictures. THOSE photos bring us all along with you.

Hope that was clear.I DO ramble, I know.

JeannetteLS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wenderina said...

What a beautiful post my love. Thank you for reminding me of how lucky we BOTH are.

Carl said...

Jeannette - Thanks so much. If critiques in college had been that helpful I would not have ben so affraid of them.
Wenderina - Thank you for being a part of this amazing ride.


Pat said...

Beautiful. thoughtful writing to go with your beautiful photographs. I don't think I could choose just five. You have had a very productive year, and many of this year's photographs are outstanding.

Carl said...

Pat- You had to say that since you're my Mom.... but Thanks! I appreciated it.