Tag Archives: window

OCTOBER 4, 2015

Note: we were without internet for 2 days and it held up sending these 2 posts.

Night

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.

10-4 chairs L1001515

10-4 house L1001516

Advertisements

AUGUST 16, 2015

Awkward Frame

Maggie’s closest friend here, Luana, stopped by for a chat, and when I stood with them for a moment listening to their back and forth, I saw how even in an unglamorous setting, one with harsh lighting, plus the awkward frame of the doorway, a ‘moment’ could still be found where something interesting, in this case a gesture, could be read as strange, or at least visually intriguing. And then Maggie’s hand shooting into the edge of the frame suddenly gave me the impulse to shoot.

Of course Luana is something to see all on her own, a combination of a real, earthy, country woman, with an Italian movie star. So even if she is telling Maggie,”….I have this pain here…” it still provides an interesting, open ended moment.

08-16-Luana L1032482

MAY 20, 2015

Nature and Culture

Ah, Nature and Culture. Hand in hand they march together, constantly surprising us by their affinities, incongruities, dimensions, choice of habitat, and simple will to defy all expectations. Sounds a lot like photography to me. So when I came upon this bunker-like window, along the street of a tiny borgo of just a few houses, it stopped me in my tracks.

How did this get there? Was it by human hand? Or was it a volunteer seed dropped by a bird, or shat out and pre-fertilized and grew into this lovingly embracing, but prickly plant. And though when I see this, and make a photograph of it, what really comes to mind instead of merely a big  print, is a vision of it in a grand scale, on a plaza somewhere, or in a big white box space of a museum. It looks so formidable and dangerous, and also playful and funny.

So many things to see in things.

05-20 L1029179

FEBRUARY 4, 2015

Out the Window

Some days just slip away, and I wonder, ‘where did the time go’? Interior days in the winter are perfect for dealing with the backlog of work that seems to accumulate so quickly now that we’re  in Europe, new exhibitions and projects which are time sensitive, and then all the catching up with the many things that computers were supposed to make easier for us.

So here it is nearly 5:00pm and I am called to the window by the last bit of sunlight doing its rosy golden number in the deep blue background of oncoming night, and once again – no matter how many times I have seen this – it never fails to make me drift into a reverie about time, and how I use it, and in these later years, how can I stretch it out.

Standing at the window I see that Maggie has lit the candles and the fire is dancing in the fireplace, and then I see the spatial illusion of near and far and behind, which has a surreal, Magritte-like quality; the overlap of the twin fires of nature and the hearth played out on the stone wall, and my reverie joins me to them, and the question of time goes out the window.

Feb-4 L1025828

FEBRUARY 3, 2015

Light

Dear friends invited us for lunch. They are amazing antiques dealers whose eye for objects, furnishings, spaces, color tones, and the essential feel of a place, is incredibly satisfying. Whenever we visit with them in Bonnieux, in the apartment and studios they own and rent there, (by the way, if you are ever yearning for a vacation rental…) we feel immediately at home. You know that rare feeling too, I am sure, because it isn’t easily found when traveling. So when you come upon it, you get its message fast.

To enter their sun filled rooms, in a building that is hundreds of years old, and to see lunch being prepared, and flowers spilling color and energy over the table; the light reaching across surfaces, spilling down to the floor, sliding up the walls and then ricocheting off all of them, making a luminous sphere out of the rectangle of space. Light is our most expressive asset. Photographically speaking it is the source of what first wakes me up and lets me know I am being touched by a photographic possibility. I read the light. I trust what it is signaling to me, the now of it.

Even at its most humble light calls me out.

Feb-3 L1025808

 

 

JANUARY 30, 2015

What Beauty

Again, a cold, wintry day, no one out on the streets of Menerbes, the light was gray, the town was ancient history, stones and more stones, and then, perhaps 30 feet away, I see a stain of acid-green leaking out into the street, a kind of luminous, neon-ish color that had nothing to do with anything in the town. This color is a modern artifact, and as such it defies naturalness.

So, naturally, I let myself be drawn toward the light, already feeling my openness and anticipation beginning to play with the ‘what ifs’ that might await me. And there it was! I cannot tell you what it was, as it only showed itself as a window, no store, just a space someone wanted to show this in. What was really fun was to stare into the room for 2-3 minutes and then turn around and look at the world. Everything was a glowing, electric magenta, which of course faded in 30 seconds or so, but was a lovely optical trip for the time it lasted. (you might want to try it right here on this page where, just a moment ago, I got the same flash of magenta on the screen when my eyes flicked to the side)

Let’s face it, photography is an optical trip too!

Jan-30 L1025732

On the way back to my car I saw the daylight changing and glowing in its own natural way, not to mention the lovely complexity of the layers, and I am sure that my response was in relation to that window I stood in front of a half hour before. The green! and the glitter of the light on the land, although less intense than the window, were nonetheless wondrous, as only nature can be. How many times daily do I stop and say, ‘what beauty’!

Jan-30 L1025733

JANUARY 29, 2015

Swept Away

It must have been a fantastic January sale, even the window models lost their clothes! I see things like this on the streets of New York all the time since they change the windows a lot faster there, but to be in a small, French, agricultural town, on a back street no less, and to turn the corner, on a late and grey day, and come upon this window was quite a pleasant surprise – and let me tell you there was no one else on the streets, as is so often the case in French towns – where do they all go?

This kind of photograph is like shooting ducks in a barrel. It’s all there already, and all I have to do is stand in front of it and put a frame around it. And I probably have made more than my share of these kinds of ‘record’ photographs. But what do they record? And why bother to make it again and again.

Well, when I am out wandering and nothing much is going on, then anything that has a sign of life seems to be of interest. And in a way it’s a little like ‘priming the pump’, if I make a shot like this I feel somewhat freer, because something happened!  It feels good to be called out of the lethargy that can come over all of us when walking in strange, often quiet towns. It’s like a warmup, or a stretch.

So it records a moment of engagement for me, and it also records what this particular time, in France, in a small town, in the 21st century looked like. It is also a reminder that throughout the history of Photography this kind of image has called photographers to account. Think of Atget’s great photographs of windows with mannequins. Not that this has any bearing on his image, but whenever we connect with the past we keep the continuity of the medium going. And one never knows what might happen next because you stopped here to look, spend a few minutes thinking about what you are seeing, and then life resumes again and sweeps you away.

Jan-29 L1025728