Every once in a while I find myself stopped by some indefinable sensation, as if a have just passed though a ‘locus point’, a zone of visual force that tingles in such a way that I look around to get my bearings. “What is here that is holding me”? Usually we respond to things that can be defined easily, a space, a tree, some figures doing something, a whole range of sensations that we know how to organize. But when there is nothing as concrete as that how does one make a photograph?
I have learned to trust those ‘calls’. Learned way back when I was first using the 8×10 view camera and working on my St. Louis commission. It happened to me one day right in the heart of downtown St. Louis. Nothing specific, just a feeling that something in the zone in front of me was whispering my name, stopping me from moving on. I remember yielding to the instinct and setting up the 8×10 and waiting to see where the call was coming from.
The image here was pretty much the same thing. Nothing going on but the voluptuous mess of nature. No beautiful arrangement, or scaled relationships, or counterpoint between near and far. Just chaos. Just the indefinite, overall, layered, complexity of nature, as if it had a mind of its own which presented a thought that was purely natural, not within the bounds of the esthetics we have applied to it for centuries of landscape painting and photography, nothing but the rawness of IT.
I would like to apologize to some of my readers for a confusion I may have let creep in when writing this blog about the year’s worth of photographs I have made. Sometimes my tense slips between past and present as it did the other day. So let me reiterate again that I finished this work a year ago and then let it sit while I worked on the accumulated days, and then decided to reflect on that passage of time, so perhaps my enthusiasm gets the better of my grammar.