Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Friday, January 8, 2010

Along the AT, No.2

PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: The stroll along the AT continues. Between Kent and Cornwall it follows the corridor of the Housatonic River. As it nears Cornwall Bridge it crosses some fields that are mowed for hay. In March the ground is still cold, but the damp air is beginning its work.

In photographing the landscape, fog is the great simplifier if only one can get the crop right. I experimented with cropping tight to the cluster of tall trees on the left, but the image seemed static, too neatly balanced left and right, closed in. The framed mountain is only half of what is important here. We are moving along the AT, but we look sideways, perpendicularly to our direction of movement. The dissonance provided by the "bleeding" chunk of tree, left, and the hint of a second hill is a reminder that lateral movement across the picture is a second axis.

Sadly, the image suffers from a technical flaw and probably will never be printed, but this compositional pointer seems important to remember. Will it still be so when I am back on the AT with a changed atmosphere, different eyes and, hopefully, a steadier hand? Will anyone else think it matters? Does the effect even work as intended, or are the cues too subtle? How does one find the balance point where both the axis of the trail and the axis "out the window of the train as we pass" have equal pull?