•COMING IN SEPTEMBER, 2015•

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

by Emery Roth

Friday, February 5, 2010

White Silence

PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL - Just as white light is the combination of all colors of the light spectrum, so white noise is the combination of all pitches of a sound spectrum, but what is white silence? Each of us may look at this picture and try to give an answer, and many of us will never mention snow or winter or refer directly to this spot on a hillside where someone has planted a vineyard.

What I enjoy in the image is its simplicity, it's odd balance, and that with just a hint of color and shading the substance of a hillside can be suggested, and that at the same time it's less about hillside than about two areas of softly textured color and how they move my eye and about the whiteness of the paper or screen on which I view them. White silence is the feeling they convey to me. For all its realistic detail, for me it is almost abstract and analogous to the silence I felt while standing in the snow storm.

How different from yesterday's photo of classic New England winter, suitable for a Christmas card or to represent the month of December on a calendar. My pleasure in shooting it was about using these wonderfully evocative barns and landscape to retell a bit of Amercian mythology. In the real world such places are rare and never free of modern intrusions. So with the horses posing, how could I resist this one? Although not truly out of the past, the success of that image depends on making the barns, fence and horses as tangible and convincingly quaint as possible.

The two images were taken five minutes apart. In fact the very next subject I turned to study after the barns and horses was the subject above. Photography can be many things, even in the same snow storm.