Tuesday, August 19, 2014

More Crucifix

Clayton Gardinier when out to shoot with Alcy and I today. It was hot and heavy showers were passing through so we felt limited to shooting indoors. The closest place was the antique store on 2920. Alcy, of course, shot flowers. I haven’t seen Clayton’s work yet but as usual I shot my current passion--crucifix. It is getting difficult to find new ones so I often try to get a different take on ones that I have shot before, such was the first image below. Fortunately they sometimes get moved to a new location. I think this might be an improvement over my previous attempts on this particular piece so I am pleased with it. The second image is a new crucifix which is okay, but I am not overly excited about it.

However, the shot of the day was the third. I do not know if this would be considered officially a ‘crucifix’, it is, but it is mostly a rosary. One of the ‘rules’—my self-determined and self-imposed rules--is doing the crucifix as ‘found object’, objet trouvĂ©.  I will not tell you that I never move or rearrange—although it is extremely seldom that I do and what I do is very minimal, but there are times when it has to be done. (Confession, case in point: on the second image I did flip the price tag over since for the series tentatively called ‘the price of Christ’ having the price showing in the photograph is part of the concept. I am not sure that is ‘cheating’ since I really disturbed the price tag in no other way—it remains where it originally lay.) For me the image has much more significance if I photograph it as found. The concept comes from Hattersley’s discussion of finding Christ in all aspects of daily life.

There is just a certain serendipity in found objects that can not be planned without becoming superficial when the symbolism of objects work together and they often do. When they do they strengthen the symbolism—or at least they do in my mind. That significance may only come across to me but I feel that it is important to the process even if I am the only one who knows it.

The rosary was found in a booth where a new tenant is moving in. It was not yet ready for business so the entrance had been taped off to prevent entry. Fortunately the rosary was on a table next to the isle. The chance of finding two such dissimilar objects, a religious artifact and a carpenter’s tool, which had such a strong symbolic connection to each other struck me as being very powerful. For anyone who might not grasp the connection, Christ was by profession, a carpenter. Even though the point of view was extremely limited and I really didn’t have the best camera and lens for the shot, I had to take the photograph. I suppose it is possible that the two objects were placed together by intent, but there was really no indication that the two objects were placed together for any reason other than simply by accident. The table was laden with all sorts of objects from dinnerware to picture frames—the booth was a classic scene from a moving day, everything in disarray including this table.

I have no idea whether anyone else will find any significance or value in this photograph, or even care. I never know that about any of my photographs. But, like the dead bird in Port Arthur, this one photograph made the entire day worthwhile.

If I could only come home with one photograph every time I go out to photograph I would be one happy camper. They don't normally come this close together. Just on  a lucky streak.

Addendum: Would love to have comments on the third photo from anyone that connects to the symbolism of the objects.

Curious about the gold oval frame—is there any connection or symbolism that can be identified in the frame; does the arcs of the dinnerware tie the frame into the composition sufficiently, or is the frame simply out of place, an anomaly that draws too much attention to itself?

What about the major lines; do they radiate upward, or do they simply carry the eye out of the photograph. Would it have worked better if the apex of the triangle created by the rulers had been at the top of the image rather than the bottom?

How do you read the size of the ‘crucifix’ within the image; is it discovery or is it simply too small to be sufficiently significant? I was limited by my equipment but would it have been better to have worked closer to the crucifix?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sophie Portraits

Well, this may or may not work.  A storm blew thru and I have been without electricity for a couple of hours so I'm trying this from Chick Fil A. May upload part of it later.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Beaumont, Port Arthur

Made a two day run to the west edge of the Golden Triangle. On the way we made a detour down to Oak Island and Double Bayou to see if there was any possibility there for a sunset over water. It’s much too long a drive for the limited possibilities.

We did stop in Deena’s Donuts in Oak Island for a cold drink. Got there about a half hour before they were to close. While Alcy paid for the drinks Debi was chatting with the owner. She ask how many donuts they made daily and somehow that lead to the owner sacking up a full sack of glazed donuts and a very full sack of donut holes. I made myself sick on donut holes—but it was worth it.

The plan was to photograph Debi’s Sophie dress form around the many Beaumont musuems and along Crockett Street after dark. Crockett Street was a ghost town but we did shoot Sophie in front of the Jefferson Theatre which did have lights on. I didn’t do too well, hope Debi and Alcy did better. Went back to Crockett Street Friday morning.

We stopped by Saint Anthony Cathedral Basilica twice, once late Thursday afternoon and again Friday morning for different light. Also stopped by the Spindletop museum and stopped in Nederland on the way to Port Arthur. Got hit with a downpour just as we were about to start photographing in Port Arthur. Waited it out and got a few good photos.

Way short of finishing processing but here are a few of my favorites from the two days. Will post the Sophie photos separately.
Oak Island


St Anthony's

Spindletop Museum

Most of the photographs in Port Arthur were of Sophie, but I did take this one photograph that made the entire trip worthwhile for me. This skeleton of a bird was inside one of the store front display windows. The window was extremely dirty so I was pleased that anything came out. Going to add this to my Who Killed Cock Robin series. It's sort of a reverse of The Twa Corbies.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Doctor Visit

Went with Alcy to the doctor yesterday—because she promised that we could stop at the Chocolate Bar in Rice Village. After chocolate we drove over to Panera to compute under AC. Alcy noticed the stained glass windows in St Vincent de Paul across the street that she had to photograph. We arrived during noon mass so I waited outside. After mass I went in to photograph the ‘crucifix’ in the foyer—well it is more Christ ascending but the windows behind are in the shape of a cross so I might stretch it a little. We had circled the building to look at the other outside figures and on returning to the car we cut through a small courtyard and I got an opportunity to combine two very divergent themes—religious artifacts with abandoned clothing. Not often that happens.


More Sophie in Conroe and Lake Houston

It’s slow down and catchup again. A few photos of Sophie from the trip Debi and I took to Conroe and Lake Houston a few days ago.

Revisiting a Very Old Theme

Several years ago I did a series of manipulated photographs on the theme “If (fill in name of artist) had (fill in implausible event). I don’t remember all the titles but there was If Franz Kline Had Believed in Santa Clause, If Alberto Giacometti Had Known Jean Simmons, If Piet Mondrian Had Not Been So Straight, etc. I think I will add this to the series, If Ivan Albright Had Known Sophie Rather Than Ida.

ADDENDUM: I think it was If Piet Mondrian Had Not Been So Square. Just wanted to clear that up! 

Monday, August 11, 2014