Monday, June 25

1st Congo

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A pity, but some things have to be pictured - the visitor lacks a choice. Middlebury, Vt. is built all around its First Congregational Church which sits atop the highest hill in town. And they've built this atop that. Unfortunately I had only six hours in the area to take pictures, and no research. So from sunrise to about 1:30 in the afternoon, I drove, walked and let the hamlet's major features attract my camera's lenses. But unless you rode well out of Middlebury, the shadow of the First Congo's magnificent steeple drew down.

As many of you recall, I have often photographed the steeples of Lancaster, which meant that a novel approach to Middlebury's greatest tower was hard, particularly with such little time. So... here's the obligatory snapshot of their most prominent feature. I'd really like some suggestions. This is a conventional, "Wow!" image, but it just doesn't make me wonder. Doesn't appear to be a metaphor for anything larger. It's merely pretty.

Is that enough for anything beyond a calendar or postcard? Let me know, huh?

6 comments:

mcmurma said...

Honestly Ted, I sometimes think you push yourself too hard. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing... nothing ventured, nothing gained, and all that. But, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

To try and draw some unique vision outside of the ones you are presented with is often difficult at best, and nigh-on impossible at worst. In this case I think you have succeeded in a way that is cause for celebration. But then it's not my image, or my vison, and so it's easy for me to sit here and be perfectly delighted with yours.

Now, don't get me wrong. I believe I understand, at least on some level, the desire to create images outside the norm. Ones that break new ground and present visions heretofor unseen or rarely explored... or even to bathe an image in a surrealistic interpretation of itself without going so far as to leave the viewer wondering what the devil they are looking at.

In this case I'm not sure what you could have done better. This is a way groovy image. There are echo's in it, and punctuations, and it is amongst my favorites of yours so far this month. (the others are from the 4th, the 6th, the 13th and the 14th... especially the 14th. I just can't come up with what to say about that image.)

You create your own visons and you're good at it. So I hate to question you methodology. It obvioulsy works. But since you asked...

Thanks for sharing,

-Michael

advman said...

Mmmm ...

I think Michael has said all that there's to say. And as far as surrealism goes, what on earth is this sky if not surreal? Maybe wonderful? Perfect? You bet!

Andreas

Ted Byrne said...

Thanks guys but... but... but...

Have you ever visited a Treadway or Marriott Inn and looked at the artwork? Probalby you have visited both, but rarely looked at the things on the walls. And yet most of that stuff is original craft. And some of it is quite high craft. There is even higher craft at the Biltmore's, Barclay's and like that.

You will note that I have called it "craft". Is that to denigrate it, or merely to categorize it? Hmmmm....

There are images which appear so, paint-by-numbers-like to me. I know how to take a picture of a church spire poking into a sky at sunrise. I've done it a lot. And so have a bazillion others. I can make my sky particularly dramatic along with the shadowing of the builiding whose lines I've exaggerated with a super wide lense. Yes this involves both pre and post processing. Which is crafty stuff. But... but... but...

Look, I reeeeely like your compliments. Keep 'em coming. Still, I want to be able to compliment myself.

And... But... but... but... the image feels to me like an image on a motel wall. Which isn't so much art as it is an interior appliance. Still, I admit it's taken me a lot of years to be able to crank out an interior appliance. It is pretty high craft. I just wish it was more - different. That there was more of my idea there.

Um, does this make any of my whining clear-er? Um... More clear? Er... Explicable?

advman said...

Ted,

I perfectly understand. It's every artist's dream to produce something like "Guernica" or "Las Meniñas" or the "Mona Lisa", and if at all possible please once a day. At least.

But I'm afraid that is not entirely possible, at least not all days, and in this light it may be a comforting feeling to be able to pull passable interior appliances out of one's hat, even when art doesn't want to turn up :)

Andreas

Ted Byrne said...

Now that's hilarious. I mean, pass the milk through the nose, explosively funny. Heh heh heh!

But... but... I don't want to do Guernica, or even a picture of Whistler's Mother every time. Because... well... THEY'VE BEEN DONE!!!!

See, that's the problem. No more good ideas. They've gone and used them all up. Oh no.... what the hell are we going to do? Weren't they thinking when they selfishly did all the easy stuff? It's not fair. It's just not FAIR! %$T$#$#@!!!

Thanks Andreas, maybe I've got the bar a tad high? Heh heh heh....

Thomas said...

Strange. "It's merly pretty"...?? Well, first, it's not only pretty, its truely beautiful. Second, just because somebody put it already on a motel wall... So what? Good for the motel. Makes the stay less annoying.

And for the rest, I completely follow Michaels critique.

I perfectly understand the urge to produce "pretty" and unique pictures. Maybe that is why so many photographers shoot people? It's so much easier to capture seemingly unique expressions then.

I can only say: Rest assured, Ted, your work is very unique - and "pretty" darn beautiful! And certainly not "only".