Wednesday, November 7

Reality In A Bucket

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Steve, a friend of mine, arranges some travels to take pictures. Hmmm.... I guess I do too. And I think we do it to kind of confirm reality. To bring it back with us, not so much to show it off, as to examine it at our leisure. I've been examining the trip Rita and I took to Italy for a longer time than we traveled to Italy. And it will keep up for weeks. I could not afford the time, nor the money to be in Italy as long as I can examine and fit the meaning of Italy into my understanding of life thanks to photographs.

Yesterday Steve brought over a spectacularly framed image he created from his 6am visit to the base of Rome's Spanish Steps. It was a large exquisitely detailed photograph which he enhanced to suggest what a painter would imagine. He thought about that place and that moment far longer in post processing than he did at the moment he captured the virgin image. He's continuing to do that from photographs he made in Africa last year. We each continue our experience of reality through both the taking of photographs and the process of creating the final image.

I have the idea that photographers, and particularly art photographers, enjoy both a more intimate relationship with moments when they are photographing and a greater understanding of them than those who don’t study the place first to capture something elusive about it, then again as they bring the final image into existence. Photographers don't simply bring back trophies nor do we simply make memories linger... What is the word? We make them live.

Yes, we dip into moments with our digital buckets and carry the light back with us. See here in this Triptych how I've done that? See the immensity, the awesome dimensions, the astonishing control of the artists who created all of this room out of rock hard materials? And imagine how they imagined, then executed their imaginings... I'm doing that as I examine St. Peter's Basilica at my leisure - for a longer time than I could possibly afford to be there in body, as opposed to being there in my mind.


Chad Oneil Myers said...

Great series, Ted.

advman said...

Oh, that's a beautifully balanced abstract image all by itself :)

You're right. And more so. Not only do they live in the images, no, they images begin to live in the places where they were shot, at least for the photographer.

I do this "Image of the Day" business for more than a year now. Many of my images are shot on my way to or from work, almost always along the same ways, and when I go these ways now, every few steps I see another image, a door, a facade, a tree, some graffiti, and so on. And only some sad times, when an old house is torn down, a tree is felled, a shop is closed, one of them fades away, into nothingness, only to be kept as a memory in my files.

Reality is a strange beast, huh?