Tag Archives: Wall

DECEMBER 17, 2015

Room Tone

There’s an expression in filmmaking called room tone which is when the sound person asks for quiet so that the quiet of the room, the tone that exists in it, can be saved to used to fill any gaps in the sound.

This room gave off a tone to me the minute I entered it. The cloth , this simple ragg-y thing, set the whole room to its presence, and a mighty thing it was.

12-17 Wall L1003440

OCTOBER 12, 2015

Chairs

For many years I have come across chairs, both humble or grand, sitting out in the world waiting to be sat in or carted away. These relics have shown their personalities to me in a variety of countries and cities, and in some strange way I have become a collector of them, but to what end I never knew. Oh, yes, I’ve thought, and maybe even said to friends, “some day I’d like to put a book together with these chairs,” but it hasn’t happened yet.

While in Florence for the opening of the Leica store I mentioned in the last post, I wound my way through the back streets to get to know the place a little better. Of course the chairs found me, or I them. On that day these 2 showed up, and while I was on the streets some hand made wall messages also called out for attention.

I particularly liked the one that says, “place your hand to be tele-transported,” And I was!

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10-12 Chair L1001822

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SEPTEMBER 6, 2015

Time Ship

A few days ago I wrote about a dead sheep and her unborn lambs, and now the other side of the coin. This old dog, a special breed of Maremmani sheep dog, the kind that can kill a wolf that attacks their fold, had given a litter of 10, and it was to everybody’s surprise because she really is no spring chicken that ol’ sheep dog!

Luana, tended every one of them, nursed them, warmed them, cleaned up after them, all because the old dog didn’t have it in her any more to ‘mother’ them fully. I was witness to the beautiful domestic connection between humans and dogs, an ancient companionship that has truly weathered all the tests of time. I am sure that even in the hard fought life of early man dogs were attracted to their fire, and what they could communicate to each other, and that this bond goes back to prehistoric times.

The humble scene here could have been rendered in black and white and would seem to have been made in the 1950’s, or even earlier, so true to type is it. At moments like this, when I’m in the grip of a reflection on our human history, and because of what I am seeing in the present, I don’t think about dramatizing anything, or pushing the frame around to zap the energy in the image, you know, to make a picture!. I find myself just being there, present to the moment, and then, when something in front of me connects with that time ship that I was traveling on, I find the alignment of my feelings and this special moment. And then an image is made.

It doesn’t even have to be a good picture, by whatever our current standards are, as long as it resonates, to me, something about what this picture is about.

 

09-6 Dogs L1000535

AUGUST, 28, 2015

Dreamland

I went to visit with my friend, the photographer Paolo Ventura, in his studio on the far side of Tuscany. At some point he took a seat on his own hand painted set where he usually has characters from the 40’s and 50’s playing out his stories and dreams. In fact he usually plays some of the characters. But here he was just himself, and to me he looked like he belonged there in that barren, spindly, woodland, almost like a lost traveller in a dreamscape, or a contemporary version of the sage sitting alongside the road, which one finds in those School of Siena paintings of the 1500’s. Slightly wild-eyed or mad, or possessed, which he is.

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JULY 20, 2015

Old Dogs

During this period of a picture a day I had started making still lives and sometimes found myself considering found objects as potential backgrounds for the dark interior spaces I was working in. I was looking for indeterminate surfaces to make my teatrino space with, and when I saw this small billboard frame, with its scraped off remnants of posters and announcements, I decided to shoot it and later to print it on old linen tablecloths I have collected. That way I could subdue the color and darken it down into a visual space that would have that indefinite feeling I was looking for.

These ideas were all new to me and have about them decisions about picture making that never entered my mind until I began making still lives. As a working philosophy for my first 50 years, ‘do not touch or arrange anything,‘ was my method and bedrock belief, and I remained true to it, except if I was shooting something commercial which needed direction, and even then I often set something in motion and watched as it spun out of control and became part of real life, and then I could photograph it.

But now that still lives have begun playing a major role in my work I can accept that management and concept, selection and reworking, are all valid means of making a photograph. Even old dogs can learn new tricks.

07-20 Sign L1031635.