Wednesday, January 30, 2013

W.A.A. Award

I'm pleased to announce that in the recent juried show at the Washington Art Association, my photograph, "Made in America" won 2nd place and a cash prize. Information about the show can be found at:



Upstream Music


They fall, 
gather in puddles, over
flow into rills 
and creeks, 
runnels and freshets,
minnows and frogs,
beetles and waterbugs,
scarabs and butterflies, 

they tumble down cataracts, 
cascade along brooks and bubbling 
streams that wind through woods and meadows before 
becoming rivers surging white in spring rains, racing, spilling over 
where they pause.

In deep pools where trout lurk
they carry on the fugal singing
ever downstream
or along the gulf stream
or upswept
in an airstream 
in fogs and clouds and drops of rain
born at thirty-two feet per second per second.

As they fall they gain momentum
surge and coarse through
the industries of our kind
and whirling gusts 
in the maelstrom of
whatever's next.
We are their children
and long to honor them
as we desecrate their shores.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rimmon Falls on the Naugatuck



The first settlers 
followed the tracks 
the native people used
that followed the river
they called, "Naugatuck."

It was the easy way 
through wilderness boscage 
where native people hunted and fished 
and where settlers soon built mills, 
developed expertise in brass and copper
and later rubber, 
and where imaginative people 
built what they imagined. 

When railroads shot up the valley 
like vines up a sycamore, 
opportunity drew laborers
sprouting families, churches and schools, 
social clubs and selectmen, 
societies and brotherhoods, 
sisterhoods and neighborhoods, 
unions and country clubs,
parties and alliances,
relationships that helped communities 
endure and thrive.

Huntington, Birmingham, 
Ansonia, Humphreysville,
Beacon Falls, Naugatuck, 
Mattatock, Thomaston, 
Wolcotteville, and Winsted became
the towns that made the world's copper and brass.

Along the river by Rimmon Falls
in the time before the settlers,
near where the brass mills used to be, 
its told, 
there was "this old tree," 
in the native tongue,
a sweet place in the shade
prized for good fishing.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Watch Your Step


Move to the Rear

Watch your step, 
Move to the rear. 
Hold on to the hand rails 
when stepping up or stepping down.
Please keep your bags out of the aisles. 
Don't crowd.
Let departing passangers pass.
Watch your step getting off. 
Move to the rear.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Good Ol' Jack

PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL:  Would you buy a used digger from a raked gasser like that?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

For the New Year No.2: Sweetheart

Beth Slater Whitson:  "Let me call you 'sweetheart.'  I'm in love with you."

PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: I guess this series is devoted to the many ways our cars become us.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Remembered in Goshen

PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL:  It was probably sometime in 2010, wandering in Goshen, when I discovered this farm. It was no longer in operation, and I spoke to the owner about his plans. There were men running earth movers in this field, but he said he intended to continue farming here though he lived elsewhere. He gave me permission to walk the property and photograph. He told me about the crumbling graveyard in the middle of the field behind me, and though I went back several times afterward, I never saw him again.  The detailing on the barn was crude, but I liked the bold proportions of the two cupolas, like no others I've seen. Because overstated, they work especially well in silhouette. The lower level was flooded, but the owner told me he hoped to save it.  When I went by this fall all the barns were gone.

I could have removed the power lines from this image and have done as much in other images, but such wires are a common feature of farmland, and I liked their relation to the local pole beside the barn. Was it put there in 1914 to bring the first electricity from the new Housatonic power grid in Falls Village. This was a family farm, and from the rambling sprawl of the house, I suspect it encompassed several generations. Usually I know something of the history of barns I photograph, but I know nothing of this one, and now it's gone. I must make a pilgrimage to the cemetery to see if the names are legible now.  

I can still hear one photo instructor asking me why I bother to take such photographs. I dunno.  I just do. Perhaps it's just for the record.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

For the New Year

PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL:  It's hard for me to believe that I've been making entries to this blog for a full six years, that this is the 973rd photograph I've posted.  My sole aim when I began was to challenge myself to a program of self-improvement by  committing to post a new photo daily (at least every third day) and to try to make each photograph better than the previous one.

The role of this written journal has evolved. It has always been a place for me to leave notes to myself and to record thoughts on photographic issues and to discuss what happened on the shoot.  More and more it has become a place for me to react in an expressive manner to the photograph posted and often to try to make photo and text speak as a whole.  The first draft of "Prison," was composed in these journals, and at least since then it has come to feel like a kind of failure when the text portion is less ambitious than the visual.  That new challenge has slowed down the production of new postings and has often played an, arguably, improper role in the picture selected for the day.  To remedy that, I resolve to forgive myself for more frequently posting a picture without any journal entry.

I will also recall that, "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom," and will forgive myself in advance the foolishness of my excesses. I will repeat Blake's words thrice daily to inoculate myself against the arrogance of foolishness.

A final issue occurs to me regarding this blog.  The daily stream of photographs created by a blog has its own story-telling rhythm. It is totally unlike the experience of looking at images in an exhibition or in a photo book.  Daily posting is less tolerant of images that rely on their context with other images to exert their full meaning.  By posting a single image at a time, every image seeks autonomy.  That's part of what makes producing this blog a valuable challenge for me.  However, as in the images shared from travels, and as I look toward books, I sometimes feel the need to post supporting images, images that fill in a bit of background to the larger story.  If in the future I make more supporting posts, the test for posting on the blog remains to try never to post an image that I would not enjoy framing, hanging, and looking at on my wall.

Many thanks to all those who look and/or read sometimes, all the time or from tim to time, and especially thanks to all those who occasionally send word to tell me what they thought about or especially liked or would like to see differently.  So begins year seven.