Sometimes spaces seem to be stage sets designed by a mind far beyond mine in creativity. My work as a photographer has been to be a receiver of things, not a creator. Moments appear and I say Yes!
Note: we were without internet for 2 days and it held up sending these 2 posts.
Night is a great moment to step outside of where you live to look at where you live. It is different to see it at night. Another layer of mystery might be revealed about why any one of us chooses to live any where. So night time can tell us a lot about ourselves. Well…maybe.
Around the back I came across the two chairs we sometimes sit or lie on. They sat in the last radiance of the day and seemed to glow. Chairs that I would never think of photographing, but how could I not in this light?
And the house itself, when I turned back to it, seemed so inviting that I found myself standing there, saying ‘who lives there?’ I was happy to remember that it was me. It was so simple and innocent and inviting, that I simply raised the camera to acknowledge the ordinary, but welcoming sight it has become.
Keeping The Record
Not every day has interesting photographs in it. Some days it’s just a record of being alive and seeing something curious in a familiar place, even if it’s of minimal interest, like this street in the small town, Buonconvento where we live. During that week the town held its annual Sagra Festival, where all 4 quarters of the town cook for the whole town and any visitors who wish to come. On the last night of the festival they held a ‘fashion show’ in which the young kids paraded down the street trying to be glamourous. The town threw itself into the event and set up this ‘runway’ in the middle of the street. What appealed to me was the vision of modernity set inside a place built a 1000 years ago.
Night time, and the variety of color temperatures of street lighting, often make ordinary places into theatrical spaces. This back street in a tiny town took on a richness of color that made me go back after I walked past it, and take a real look. And we are all fortunate today in what the digital capacities of our cameras allow us to see and to render. But it’s the going back that counts.
I have never been one who makes night sky images. Film was not so responsive for doing that, and more often than not it made pictures of streaks of starlight left behind by the rotation of the globe and the time it took to make the shot. But digital is different, and although this is no brilliant photograph it is a reminder of how easy it is to consider the new subjects that might come from looking at things freshly and seeing how they might relate to the heavens above.
Reminders like that are important to thinking photographically.
Here’s a little story. We had gone to a nearby town for dinner and on the way back, as we passed through a burgo, a small collection of about 5 houses, we saw that 3 people were sitting on the bench right there on the edge of the road that passed through the place. Gianni, ever the connection between all things Tuscan, called out to them as we passed by and they waved to us to stop.
As soon as we did, the Italian Opera began, as always, with gestures, and a half hour of stories and laughter. One of the men had broken his arm and was holding a hand carved stick which helped him do whatever he needed to do with his one good arm. By the end of the exchange Gianni walked away with his stick. How he managed to get the guy to give it to him I cannot say, but it offered me a wonderful few minutes of watching the whole drama play out.
Even the nights in Tuscany are rich with possibility.