Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More on The Edge

I tell my photographer friends that they need to learn to talk about their photographs. I’m not actually sure that they care to develop such a skill. Still, in an attempt to ‘set an example’ I try every once in a while to give it a go. Of course for me it is easy—I’ve been talking (read that as writing) about my photographs for a very long time. I also work in themes much of the time so it is stuff that I have thought about before.

There is a great deal of my photography that I don’t write about because it simply is not important enough to write about. Maybe someday it will develop into a theme and that will change. Most likely it will never be important. It is photography that I have done simply for the purpose of ‘taking a photograph.’ It has no deeper meaning than that.

But when I am working on one of my themes I am generally trying to create a photograph that says something to me. It would be nice if it said something to someone else but I really don’t worry about whether or not it does. These two photographs are on one of my frequently repeated themes—the edge. I have shot basically these same photographs on many previous occasions. That is one of me more interesting thing about working in themes—they are inexhaustible and the photographs for all their similarities are always different. Some are more successful than others. Some are complete failures. You learn more from the failures than the successes.
I have written about this theme several times before. I feel there is something that draws us to the edge where land and water come together.

Emerson wrote about it in Seashore, ”Behold the sea… the nourisher of kinds, Purger of earth, and medicine of men; Creating a sweet climate by my breath, Washing out harms and griefs from memory, And, in my mathematic ebb and flow, Giving a hint of that which changes not.”

Millay in I Shall Go Back Again to the Bleak Shore "...I shall find the sullen rocks and skies, Unchanged from what they were when I was young."
But my favorite still is what Keats wrote in When I Have Fears.. ” —then on the shore, Of the wide world I stand alone, and think, Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.”

I suppose the edge could be portrayed in a seascape but that does not interest me. Sure I occasionally shoot a seascape but I am much more interested in the details than the overall. What I want to find is design, balance and conflict in that very edge where the water crawls across the land. I want to see how the two interact. That, for me, is easier found in simply water, sand and something that causes the water to sculpt the sand as in these two photographs, both of which I feel are successful because of moment.

I shot ten photographs attempting to catch the water and the seafoam in a pleasing pattern, or moment. The small bit of seaweed is enough to confirm the location as being at the edge of a sea. Four of the photographs have what I consider adequate moment; six did not work at all. Of the four, these two were my favorites. I like both but think that the vertical is more exciting.

In some ways the photographs are about more than simply the edge of the sea and land. At least to me they strongly suggest some primordial place that many people, myself included, seem to connect with on a very subconscious level.
Head In Parking Only
On a lesser note, I came across this at lunch. Got a charge out of the Head In Parking Only sign at a barber shop and to find the red Corvette to finish off the photo made my day.

1 comment:

  1. I like your comments on the edge..esp the "washing out harms and griefs from memory"