<- Click here Help, I'm under attack by my tools! My dad used to say, "Ted, it's a poor worker who blames his tools." Sigh... But it's true. I'm living in a shoddy Steven King novel. I can't seem to tame my filters or techniques. Look at this image taken at Eleanor Rooselvelt's Hyde Park, NY home called Val-Kill.
Nowhere does it communicate my political feelings. Nor does it show something else. Hyde Park is the Land Time Forgot! There has been no change there since maybe 1947! i swear, right in the center of town there's a roller rink. Everyone who toured this place with us remembered the Roosevelts. Now you have to remember that they governed in the 1930s-40s. I felt as if I was suffocating in a musty pile of my parents clothes. And yet, instead of creating an image of moth balls, or reaction to a tour of the Democrat Party's Vatican... instead what came out was that image up here.
I have become an obsessive romantic! Look at this thing. It is .. charming. Charming is not how I felt. How I felt was like... MMMMMPH! I am quite happy to be a citizen of today. It is as if I was visiting the old country while holding daddy's hand. Much as I loved them, today is the world I watched and helped to get made. I like it.
You know what happens when anti matter hits matter? KABOOM! ... Right?
Somehow I KABOOMed! in Hyde Park. Nostalgia kicked me into a psychotic break. AAARGH! And did I get an image of it? Huh?? Huh? Nope... What I got was On Golden Pond up here. I gotta get control of my tools.
<- Click here Sitting in the library. Snowflakes falling outside. Gray November. Listening to torch singers from the 30s & 40s... buzzed on a Mucinex high. Thinking of California. We'd have liked to live there. Family here on the East Coast was an anchor. So instead we visited a lot. Hey, still do. And on gray chilly days I wonder how it is in Sausalito, or down along the Big Sur.
Images bring me back... once again to Pigeon Point.
But then I wondered what I could pull away and still leave a sense of the place? How much can be chipped out without loosing that dreamy mood. How about this? Huh?
Have they anything to offer but beauty? Must you justify them because of their prettiness? They share a force with babies, puppies, and kittens which squeezes an, “Awwww!” out of us. Now I can understand our hard wiring to young mammals, evolution’s hooked that up for obvious reasons. But why to flowers? What primal instinct is served by us feeling so much from blossoms?
They rarely signal the presence of food. Nor water. They’re lousy shelter. They’re never warm in the cold, hell, they’re not around then. And since the most colorful thrive on direct sunlight, they don’t advertise relief from heat. So if it’s not survival or sustenance, what’s the deal?
Let’s go back to the baby thing. We’re drawn to the big eyes and helpless movements in an instinct to hold and protect. And their memories certainty are one motivation for procreation. Hmmmm…. Are flowers wrapped up in our protective or procreative instincts? Certainly Georgia O’Keefe discovered Freudian metaphors in blooms for – well you know where I’m going… Or where she went.
Oddly though, flowers seem to appeal even more strongly to women than to men. Perhaps it’s cultural, but in most societies, aren’t flowers a coveted gift by men to women? I suspect there is some gender correlation to the intensity of their appeal.
Regardless, I have taken flower pictures, hasn’t everyone? And each time that I do, the best of the shoot seem to resonate among the better images I’ve captured. Until I wonder about them. Yes there are all the classical elements of texture, form, shape, and palette. And they can be easily framed in any of the most powerful compositions.
But once you’ve done that, what have you captured? April has found ways to speak eloquently through her flowers. I cannot find that voice. But what do I get? A pretty flower picture, like the ones that come with new picture frames. Beauty does not resonate, it merely attracts. We use it up quickly - it is monotonous.
Perhaps the problem with pictures of blooms is that they do not die. They do not wiggle, sway, or glottal together to create new patterns. Perhaps it is the persistence of photos which may distill out the beauty of the original flower, but not its impermanence . Perhaps it’s the fragility that they share with babies, puppies, and kittens that make the real things more interesting than their photo representations?
I want an image to bring me beyond itself. I cannot find those stories in my flower pictures. Nor can I find the feelings that are larger than the blossoms. Which probably leads to my disappointment with my images since I can’t seem to visually answer the question: What’s the story with flowers?
I'm almost out of my website/blogsite cards. So it's time to think about a new design. Hmmmm.... Since there was a lot of nagging from people who were in disbelief that I wasn't transfixed with taking pretty pictures of Fall - well, how about a tongue-in-cheek presentation of a Fall image? A BIG Fall image. On the wall of a gallery. A BIG gallery. Of course it's a virtual gallery. But why not... I am a virtual artist. And here I am presenting a virtual Fall. Hmmmm.... maybe the gallery's not BIG enough?
What do you think? Maybe it should be presented on the wall of Grand Central Station? Or how about I put it up and present it on the wall of The Metropolitan Museum? Or... or.. how about St. Peter's Museum in Rome?
<- Click here There's a strip mall in the City of Lancaster. When they built it- it became apparent that Red Rose Commons would not be able to spill onto an adjoining wet land. So imagine this... here we have a wild bird preserve that's the result of and virtually a part of a city mall. Cool, huh?
Oh, as for the image look. It's Fall. I take pictures. So I've got to take at least one picture of Autumn in Pennsylvania. Those are the rules in the Ancient Book Of Photographers,right? And this week was the high color. Yesterday I went to Barnes & Noble at the mall, and took this on the way out. Another annual task checked off.
<- Click here Something large and different for a living room wall. Needed color and bold graphic design. Needed a strong feeling of boy. The parents are happy. The grandparents though... they are ecstatic. I like ecstatic a whole bunch. You know what I'm saying here?
• EpicEdits - The popular international community has listed me sixth on a list of the world's Undiscovered Photographers which you can visit by reading the details here! Or
• EarthMonster Illustrated, the increasingly influential fine art photography ezine named me FEATURED ARTIST in their June issue! There's an entire illustrated story which you can locate and read about if you click here. This is quite an honor, thanks Matt and everyone at EarthMonster Illustrated.
• ZOWIE! I've just been informed in late July that seven... SEVEN... of my images will be published by Canon POTN in their best of 2007 collection in the Fall of 2008! As book publication nears, I'll post the images of mine which have been selected from among worldwide submissions by a combination of a group of distinguished judges and the votes of thousands of members of POTN. This his huge! I'm snowed....
• The Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County presented a show of my work on First Friday, September 7, 2007 in The Sehner-Ellicott-von Hess House circa 1787. Click here to see the details.
If turnout is a criterion of success, It was terrific. Hundreds filled the four rooms and two hallways where I showed about forty prints of Lancaster City and County.
*** • Canon POTN has announced that three of my images have appeared in their published in the Fall of 2007. The images were accepted under: Transportation, Scenic-Travel, and Sports photography sections. Images were first judged by peer panels in each category, then submitted to the voting review of thousands of photographic artists from around the world. It is astonishingly flattering that they chose to accept three of my images. Can't wait to see the book.