On a Speeding Train.
Just seconds apart. A change in the light.
I remember setting out that morning to drive an hour south so we could look at a fireplace that might be built in the house we were renting. The day was, as it often is at this time of year, mist filled in every dip and hollow and even heavier fog down on the flatlands of this one time sea bottom of a valley. And yet, just 20 minutes from here, when entering the next valley, the sun was out and the micro climate of that place made it into another day entirely.
I was shooting from the car as I often do and realized how frequently the single tree in the landscape appeals to me.
Reflection; the act of, not the image of, is a way of reconsidering where we are in relation to reality. Reflecting pools have for a long time been places where one could contemplate the difference between the illusion and the real. All we need is a small breeze to see the one fracture into a shimmering and fragmentary non image, while the other stays as it is. And then when stability returns we can match the upside down image to the real once again.
You know the expression; ‘I went to see a man about a dog.‘ Well on this day, we did. Gianni’s sheep dog had a litter of 10 and one of them was promised to a man who was for many years the man behind the Armani brand, now retired to a grand country estate nearby. As you can see from this dovecote, if a birdhouse can look this good imagine the rest.
He’s a kind and generous man who walked us all around his place with evident pride and pleasure. We went through woodland and pasture and vineyards and rolling hills and then through an amazing house. There was so much to see that I wanted to come back with my view camera and make some pictures that the place deserves. But for the moment these few notes are just the tip of the many places I responded to while with him.
But the mud/boot room takes the cake. What a holy ‘chamber,’ and for boots!
I love being out early in the morning, especially on days when the change in seasons makes for atmospheric effects which are in play for about an hour until the heat of the sun dissolves their airy beauty. I walked toward the road I have photographed many times already (see it just 2 days ago) and it always offers new takes on itself, which is part of what I love about photography; the possibility to reconsider something in a new light.
I went down into the valley to see what being deep in the mist looked like, and made some photographs that had graphic markers as their starting point. Funny how that is sometimes; graphics or symbols don’t often interest me any more – having had a lot of them in my early years – but in this veiled space of fog and atmosphere, things near to me jumped out in a way that made them seem interesting again. I like being re-educated by what’s right there in front of me.
The little saw-toothed fringe along the tops of Tuscan hills has always pleased my eye. This particular passage is one that I drive by several times a week and it gets me every time in every season. Why? Why do some places have that power, even when it is a far away and slender note of attraction? Perhaps it is just that, the minor tone in the major space, and yet…it pulls at me, not just my eye, but all of me, with that gasp of recognition that this place, right now, right here, adds something to my life.