Tag Archives: lights

JANUARY 9,2015

Being and Seeing

Living in a new place sends us spinning out into the countryside every chance we can. It’s fun to just get lost and see where we end up, and of course, along the way we see everything from the grand scale of the countryside to small notes of momentary significance. That’s part of the pleasure of being and seeing in a new place.

On the road to St. Remy this wall of of sunny stone holds a procession of London Plane trees, pruned in the manner of this part of France, which is always astonishing to see given how they reach and swirl their limbs toward the sunlight, and they never fail to make me gasp at their powerful forms. As I came to a halt at the light it seemed as if everything there pinged a red note at the same moment, and then we moved on.

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While waiting for lunch in a restaurant in St. Remy, I watched the play of light on the wall nearby, the kind of distraction that comes when you are ready to order and the waiter is lingering elsewhere. Moments like this you could call, ‘filler moments’, my eyes wandering over everything looking for some hook to catch my attention, and often the most unexpected things call out to me. In this case the projections from a leaded glass window tumbled over the geometrics of the window frame which itself sat near an elegant old radiator.

When these kinds of collisions happen I always try to make something out of them, try to see in a different way, it’s more like play really as I juggle the elements in the frame to see how long I can stay interested. Sometimes it is just an exercise and leads nowhere, and other times a fresh breeze blows through my mind.

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JANUARY 4, 2015

Photography isn’t only about seeing something and then making a photograph of it. It’s also about movement, moving in and around as you feel the qualities of the place you are in open up your mind to the other possibilities the image presents; the what if… moment. For me that’s part of the joy of seeing. I love the expansive experience of recognizing the potentcy of even such small scenes as these two below.

What was it that drew my attention? A tinkling of sunlight on Christmas lights seen against a classic French village building caught my eye, and then they pulled me forward to look more carefully, and of course everything changes with every step one takes. 20 feet further on I looked up at the lights and saw them dance against the sky.

None of this is of any great significance in the larger scheme of things. But for a moment, once again, the world offers its bounty, and I am grateful.

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