Monday, April 7, 2008

North Meadow Lights

EDGAR DEGAS: "It is essential to do the same subject over again, ten times, a hundred times. Nothing in art must seem accidental, not even movement."

PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: There are few artists in whose compositions I take more interest than Edgar Degas. It is not that Degas drew inspiration from photographic composition, but that his compositions are so smart - inevitable and telling. I recently came upon his admonition to, " the same subject." It is a practice I've followed since the summer of 2005. What else did Degas say on this subject, and what were his reasons for advocating such doggedness?

North Meadow was one of two sites I consciously reworked in the summer of 2005. Before that summer I'd never watched so closely as a single site changed under different lighting and over different seasons. I didn't set out to study and compare in that manner, but the practice made me aware that there are not dozens but hundreds of significant variations (at least!) in the way light interacts with the landscape. Anyone who sets out to photograph, "the grand landscape," must, before all else, watch the light and respond to its many moods. The photographer selects his shots from what the light has made possible.

Some of the "North Meadow," photographs were exhibited in the first exhibition of The Camera's Eye.

More Degas quotes


Ted Roth said...
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Julie at Virtual Nexus said...

Good post, Ted. I've just had a look at those quotes. I'm still chortling over
"I'm glad I haven't found my style yet, I'd be bored to death...."

Ted Roth said...

Yes, and I'm reading a book now that takes up the unlikely topic, "How to develop a style." Is it really a conscious acquisition, or is that the definition of mannerism (small "m")?

Gkad you enjoyed Edgar.