I want to introduce you to a new portfolio of mine: “Towers and Devices of an Alien Race.” But I don’t, don’t want to squeeze it into an ill-fitting box of conceptions or drown it in chat about techniques or influence. Still, I want to tell you a few of the thoughts and feelings that I had in making these works.
In going through some boxes of my books, I unearthed a couple of treasures that I hadn’t seen in oh-too-many years. (Too few shelves, too little time!) One of them, called Dialogue with Photography, is a collection of interviews with master photographers. . . The book is filled with rareties and realities. When Imogen Cunningham is asked if Edward Weston ever bought one of her prints, she replies that he never had enough money to buy anyone’s work. In this and later posts, I’ll share with you some passages that I like especially, beginning with this from the wonderful Robert Doisneau. . . .
Recently, my wife and I watched a 1980 documentary about the avant-garde composer and musician, and idiosyncratic, self-styled visionary, Sun Ra — Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise, directed by Robert Mugges. The life of outer space and the mythology of Ancient Egypt were touchstones for Ra, acknowledged sources for his music, self-image, clothing and stage settings.
. . . But now I’ve posted a new – well, almost completely new – portfolio on my photography website, called “At the Parking Lot on Center Street.”
Its previous incarnation, “A Brief Walk on Center Street,” has been largely replaced, and what hasn’t been replaced has been re-edited. When I took the original photos, mostly impromptu, I didn’t have with me the gear that I really needed for the “job.” From time to time in my pandemic confinement, I thought about getting back and doing the work better. And the confinement gave me the opportunity and the obsessive push (how many photography videos did I watch, sometimes more than once!) to explore new gear, new techniques, new software, all of which played roles in producing this portfolio.
Fire has often been not just a symbol of the holy Spirit, but its embodiment. . . Even fewer people will know what faith and fire lay behind the phrase “Chariot of fire.” It refers to certain events concerning the prophet Elisha, told in 2 Kings 6:8-17.
I wrote to you about the story of the cat at the heart of this photograph, but why is the cat wreathed in flames, and why don’t they consume him? I’ll respond to that now, not with pretended analysis or explanation, but with a kind of “Biography of Fire.” . . .
As I said I would, I’ll write to you soon about the Fire in “The Friend Who May Not Seem a Friend.” But I have to share with you first an exceptional, timely gift that came to me this week.
To understand why I show you this carved cat in flames, you need to know that my childhood was plagued by sweat-through-the-night terrors, terrors that could take hold even in daytime. . .
I miss the pleasures of meeting people in doing my street photography. Various factors have kept me from it almost completely for several years: a major change in the nature of my paying employment, a new office location, a much-needed surgery and long rehabilitation, the pandemic. But I have to say that my experience, mostly on the streets of downtown Hartford, Connecticut, wasn’t all warming and satisfying, though it did call to my mind aspects of the life presented in the Gospels just as much as did the better parts of my portrait-seeking experience.
One of the great dangers for each of us is that we let someone define us, even it’s ourselves, and then we let that definition dictate what we do and don’t do, what we believe is possible or right for us. At various times in my life, I’ve felt impelled to challenge some idea of myself, sometimes at the cost of tremendous anxiety and apprehension. I often think of (and have a couple of T-shirts that quote) the remark of one of the child “Candidates” in The Matrix, when Neo asks him how he is bending a spoon only by thinking about: “There is no spoon.” St. Paul has a similar, but farther-reaching saying: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13.)
As some of you knew, we in the Northeast received warnings through all kinds of media in the early part of this week about the likelihood that a powerful Nor’Easter … Continue Reading Christmas Reports on Weather of the Soul from Charles Dickens (God bless ‘im!) and Me
A few days ago, I wrote an e-mail to one of my best friends, Rich Armstrong, about a new photograph of mine, which you see above, “The Friend Who Dies … Continue Reading A Pre-Christmas Christmas Card
These are the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they are not original with me, If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing … Continue Reading A Quiet Coming-Together: Walt Whitman, America, Keith Carter, This Post
I recently had three of my photographs chosen for an exhibition called “Strange Times” at the Atlanta Photography Group Gallery . That exhibition was conceived partly with the pandemic in mind. Yet none of my selected images was made since the start of the pandemic, and none was generated by a dream or even a waking fantasy.
In my last post, I made some remarks about the falsity of calling certain artworks “surrealistic.” I want to pursue that further here. Am I saying that we should never use the words “surreal” or “surrealistic”? No, but. . . .
As the title of this post promises, here is the photograph that just last week joined my ongoing, award-winning “Marion under the Moon” series. Its title is “Dream of the Playground Melting into Night.” Several friends of mine, seeing it for the first time, have ha wildly differing emotional reactions to it . . . One male friend said that the image provides “mysteries upon mysteries”. . . .