PICTURE ONLY GALLERY LINKS
The life without the APA pictures are here
The The Forks ~ there's no place like home gallery is here
The ART ~ conveys / transports / reflects gallery is here
The Decay & Disgust work/book is here
The single women selects/book gallery is here
The picture windows selects/book gallery is here
The kitchen life selects gallery is here
A 10 picture look at Tangles, Thickets, and Twigs ~ fields of visual energy is here
More at Rist Camp Diaries.
While at Rist Camp, I will be posting pictures - only pictures - at a new blog, Rist Camp Diaries. When viewing the blog / pictures, think of it / them as a sort of stream-of-consciousness, picture wise.
Let me know what you think - comments always appreciated.
FYI, I will be posting entries / pictures here on The Landscapist, most likely on the same day on which I post pictures on Rist Camp Diaries.
Rist Camp is a genuine example of the Adirondack Rustic Camp tradition. Unlike newer examples - Rist Camp is 100 years old - which are built and furnished / decorated in that style, everything in and about Rist Camp is authentic as opposed to ersatz. Over the 100 years during which the camp has been in the same family, everything in the place has been acquired primarily for its functionality or personal connection to the family. Nothing has been added in order to make the place conform to the look and feel of the Adirondack Rustic tradition because, in fact, it is the authentic embodiment of that tradition.
And that fact is why the wife and I love and appreciate this place - it doesn't feel like a vacation rental property. It feels like a home - in our case, a home away from home - because that's exactly what it is.
FYI, only recently has Rist Camp been available as a rental. The current generation needs / is using the income to help defray their mother's medical / caretaking expenses. It's nice to know that the place is still serving a critical family function.
That written, I read an article in today's NY Times which is a follow up to (or continuation of) a previous article, re: the "easiest" and "hardest"places to live in the good ol' USofA. The determination of easiest v hardest was based on an analysis - using an index of 6 factors including income, education and life expectancy - of every single county in the US. The propose of these surveys is to gather information, re: inequality (haves v haves-nots) in the US - how and where it's trending.
FYI, according to this survey, I live in an "easy" / doing better (than average) county.
Why, you might wonder, am I mentioning it here, on a photo blog? Well, the follow up article was headlined with this ...
In One America, Guns and Diet. In the Other, Cameras and 'Zoolander'.
... followed by this:
In the hardest places to live in the United States, people spend a lot of time thinking about diets and religion. In the easiest places to live, people spend a lot of time thinking about cameras.
This information was gathered by doing a study of web search words/phrases as used by those living in counties on either end of the easiest/hardest index. The differences are interesting, depressing / sad or scary / alarming (take your pick or, as in my case, choose all 3). To wit:
In the hardest places to live ... health problems, weight-loss diets, guns, video games and religion are all common search topics. The dark side of religion is of special interest: Antichrist has the second-highest correlation with the hardest places, and searches containing "hell"and "rapture" also make the top 10.
In the easiest places to live ... the Canon Elph and other digital cameras dominate the top of the correlation list. Apparently, people in places where life is good .... want to record their lives in images.
The article is well worth reading and its conclusion is a damning one for the USofA - For all the ways that the differences here may reflect cultural preferences, however, the main lesson of the analysis is a sobering one. The rise of inequality over the last four decades has created two very different Americas, and life is a lot harder in one of them .... [T]he different subjects that occupy people's thoughts aren't just a window into American life today. They're a window onto future inequality, too.
It seems very apparent to me that many of us are spending our time fiddling (and picturing) while our own particular brand of Rome burns.
For those paying attention, you may have noticed that, of late, my posted images are heavily weighted on the diptych side of the picture making aisle. There is no apparent reason, which I can consciously discern, behind this proclivity other than to write that I have long been attracted to both making and viewing such multiple-picture presentations. So, it would be logical to assume that the notion of making such presentations has bubbled back to the surface of my picture making activities. That written, I am not and will not stop making stand alone pictures.
However, I am actively exploring and pursuing the visual, emotional, and intellectual possibilities of multiple picture presentations; 1. diptychs, which are primarily comprised of visually related pictures or those which share a similar intellectual / emotional sense, if not closely related visually, and, 2. triptychs, which are comprised of 3 pictures which essentially created a continuous panoramic image, albeit that the picture components are segmented as opposed to blended into a continuous image.
At this time, it is the triptych possibilities with which I am most interested. That interest is driven by my desire to explore and amplify the characteristic of the medium and its apparatus which John Szarkowski identified as:
The central act of photography, the act of chosing and eliminating, forces a concentration on the picture edge - the line that separates in from out - and on the shapes that are created by it. ~ from The Photographer's Eye
Expounding on this notion. Szarkowski goes on to write (presented here as it appeared in his book):
To quote out of context is the essence of the photographer's craft. His central problem is a simple one: what shall he include, what shall he reject? The line of decsion between in and out is the picture's edge ...
The picture's edge defines content.
It isolates unexpected juxtapositions. By surrounding two facts, it creates a relationship.
The edge of the photograph dissects familiar forms, and shows their unfamiliar fragment.
It creates the shapes that surround objects.
The photographer edits the meaning and patterns of the world through an imaginary frame. This frame is the beginning of his picture's geometry. It is to the photograph as the cushion is to the billiard table.
All of that written, my desire to explore and amplify the central act of photography, aka: selection, and all of its attendant characteristics will be implemented by the emerging image making strategy of: 1. making a "standard" square picture accompanied by, 2. the making of 2 rectangular pictures (defined by the dimensions of the µ4/3 format) which bracket the square image's frame / perimeter left and right, the purpose of which is to illustrate that which was "rejected" and, concomitantly, "fragmented" by the picture maker (aka: me).
Additional emphasis to the central picture will be accomplished by an "adjustment" made to the bracketing pictures. The exact visual technique to be employed is yet to be determined. In fence ~ selection # 1, the specialized implemented methodology was a gradient (from outside to inside edge) and an applied Curve which slightly darkened and reduced the contrast of the pictures of the "rejected" segments of the central picture's contiguous schema of structural entitification.
Other than the simple act of making visually interesting imagery (which is most often the # 1 objective in my picture making activity), my intent in this series is to bring attention to what I have always considered to be one of my picture making strengths - my ability to see, select and frame the unexpected juxtapositions which are to be found in the patterns of the everyday world / life - one might even write, the raison d'etre of my picture making strivations.
For me, the endeavor should be more fun than a barrel full of academic-lunatic-fringe monkeys. You know, like making up artspeak words and phrases.
...If we limit our vision to the real world, we will forever be fighting on the minus side of things, working only to make our photographs equal to what we see out there, but no better. ~ Galen Rowell
Quit trying to find beautiful objects to photograph. Find the ordinary objects so you can transform it by photographing it. ~ Morley Baer
I side with Morley Baer simply because I don't want to dwell in a place where the real world isn't good enough and must be "improved" in order to satisfy a lust for tarted up "beauty".
Because I am a naturally inquisitive kinda guy, I am forever striving to learn something new (to me). One area of that ongoing endeavor is in the realm of human behavior. That is, trying to understand another person's behavior, especially that of those whose inclinations are quite different from my own.
In the picture making realm, one example of behavior quite different from my own would be that of Kirk Tuck at The Visual Science Lab. Kirk is, IMO, a bona fide member in extraordinarily good standing of the I-Never-Saw-A-Piece-Of-Gear-I-Didn't-Covet Club. My mind boggles at the sheer number of cameras, lenses, and other assorted gear he has acquired, tested, and used over the short period of time (1 year-ish) I have been aware of his existence.
ASIDE: I am most definitely not casting aspersions, re: Kirk Tuck's gear acquisition proclivity. Everybody has their own thing. I am just pointing out the difference between my picture making domain behavior and his. Close ASIDE
As anyone who has followed The Landscapist knows, gear and gear related discourse doesn't really interest me. Yes, I choose my gear carefully - to match my specific needs - but when that choice has been made, it's on to the real business at hand, i.e. - making pictures. And I most definitely reside in the picture making camp of, the simpler you keep it, gear-wise, the better your picture making will be. That is, your gear becomes "invisible" and rarely gets in the way of you and your chosen referent.
That written, and in the interest of complete disclosure, I must admit that my gear collection most likely dwarfs that of Kirk Tuck's. I still have all of my commercial studio cameras (35mm , panoramic , 120 medium format , 4×5  and 8×10  view cameras) and lenses for each format (probably around 20 altogether). But, of course, that gear was acquired in the cause of meeting a wide range of client needs; from annual report / editorial (mainly 35mm), people / fashion / beauty (mainly medium format), to 4×5/8×10 still life - product / food work.
However, when it comes to my personal picture making, it's 2 bodies of the same model camera - E-P5s - and just 2 (fast) lens - 20mm and 45mm - one of which (the 20mm) is employed in the making of 90-95% of my pictures. I don't know how to, gear-wise, make it any more simple than that.
All of the preceding written, what caught my attention recently was a Kirk Tuck blog entry, Sunday Morning. Local seeing., in which Kirk relates an personal epiphany:
.... Weston probably returned dozens and dozens of times to the famous park mostly because it was available to him. He was able to infuse the scenes with his vision and his point of view. He distilled his feelings about his vision over time and then overlaid them onto the subject matter at hand.
With this in mind I started to look around my own dining room and kitchen, noticing the play of shadow and light. Noticing the juxtaposition of shapes and objects. I realized that "where ever you go, there you are." ....
Now, truth be told, I don't really believe that Kirk was actually trying to steal one of my picture making schtiks. However, that written, I have been making pictures around my house for well over a decade - check out some selects from my kitchen life and my the light bodies of work to view some examples thereof. Or, browse through a few entries in my kitchen sink series. Had Kirk Tuck viewed any of this work before he experienced his epiphany? Only he can answer that question.
In any event, the answer to that question doesn't really matter. What I really wonder about is - did his gear preoccupation get in the way of his noticing what was always right in front of / under his nose?