Notes in Passing:
Some days strange things come my way. A large boot made out of wax, oversized apples on a roundabout, a strange tree, and a woman looking at the passing scene. All notes in passing. And there were more, but one picture a day was my method and I have overdone it today.
From the car
From the car
Never Say No
There are roads in Provence that can break your heart. This road near the town of St. Remy is one I have traveled almost every time I come to the region, and in fact it is so moving to me that I published two pictures made along its course in our book,”Provence: Lasting Impressions”. In those images the trees are leafed out in the fulness of summer, and again when fall burnished their leaves a rusty gold.
Now, on a wintry day, with flawless sunlight etching every detail into my eye, the white bones of the trees are singing against the blue dome of the sky. I’m not stopping – as I have done before, to dance in the middle of the road and play in the oncoming traffic – but I’m driving straight through and letting the windshield be my frame while the miles of trees fill and empty it as I pass.
I love this road and how I feel whenever I am on it. It always feels new to me, and yet it touches an ancient nerve where the definition of ‘road beauty’ lies in wait to be awakened once again. I remain susceptible to these quirks of mine and never fail to respond even if it seems as if I have had enough of them to last a lifetime. And I may have. But I believe in letting loose the arrows in my quiver whenever the impulse arises. That gesture, that Yes!, is my tipping of the hat to the spirits that have guided me to respond to the world for more than 50 years, and I never say no.
Friday the 13th. I already have had my bad luck day this week.
So the joy of seeing this chorus line of sprinklers dancing along the roadside in February lightened my heart. It’s a nothing image in lots of ways, but the reality of it, and the way it gave me pleasure, transcends the weakness. It seemed to me as if it was ‘light’ that was being sprayed across the fields. That momentary illusion, and the thoughts that trailed through my mind as it was left behind, were worth it to me.
I think that the stimulation the world so copiously delivers in its unbounded and random way, is what makes photography such a powerful medium for ‘ideas’. And for me, through all these years, photography, even though it is made of images, has really been about the generation of new ideas; ideas about life, time, place, relationships, or anything that comes up from that brief glimpse we catch, maybe even just out of the corner of our eye, that makes the medium so continuously provocative.
I feel so lucky!
Wake Up Call
After 5 days in Paris the countryside feels good! Even when there is nothing of conventional beauty to see, particularly this late in a grey, damp and cold day with the light going and the sombre feeling drawing the energy out of the drive home.
Yet there is something to be seen; the way the trees, in their spare branches and woven asymmetries seem huddled against the season, or the diminished yet radiant tone of the colors of winter, or the flattening of the light lending a last, eerie, tincture of blue to the onset of nightfall. All this puts me in a reverie, and out of it I feel the freshening of my vision, the desire to look harder at what this moment of reality is offering me. Another call to wake up and see!