MARCH 8, 2015

The Diversity of the Moment

When I come across plain geometries in nature, like this simple square with a roof, a certain  pleasure arises immediately. How did the maker know to do it this way? Is tradition the simple form that drove the decision? Did whoever built it have an innate sense of Feng Shui? Was it the practical needs of farming and family that created this particular form for this particular house?

Whatever it was it is an undeniable gift to see Euclidean shapes amidst the rampant energies of nature. It makes me consider both the man made and the wild in a fresh way. And of course the light at this time of year has a new intensity as the earth once again tilts on its axis to lengthen the days and add warmth to the light.

I photographed this place by moving the square around in the frame, left, right, lower and higher horizon line, centered, then vertically, and so on. But when it came right down to it, keeping it centered had a logic as clear as the geometry itself. And 35mm, too, has its own beautiful dynamic of 2 to 3, or what Henri Cartier-Bresson referred to as the ‘golden mean.’ Which I imagine most of the world’s photographers work with since that is the basic format of  cameras today.

In that sense we all are working with the same essential vocabulary, and yet the diversity is amazing between how each of us might see the scene. I remember many times in workshops I have taught, seeing how 2 photographers standing nearly side by side, photographing the same space or event, have come away with such different results as to make it seem as if  they came to the place at different times. Photography holds the diversity of the moment.

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