Cricket. Forest. Old Farm Road. August 20, 2015.

Cricket. Forest. Old Farm Road. August 20, 2015.

From Wendell Berry’s ‘The Clearing’ (my underline)

2.

Vision must have severity at its edge:

            against neglect,
bushes grown over the pastures,
vines riding down
the fences, the cistern broken;

against the false vision
of farm dismembered,
sold in pieces on the condition
of the buyer’s ignorance,
a disorderly town
of “houses in the country”
inhabited by strangers;

against indifference, the tracks
of the bulldozer running
to gullies;

            against weariness,
the dread of too much to do,
the wish to make desire
easy, the thought of rest.

Dawn. With Smith and Rio, Old Farm Road. August 19, 2015.

Dawn. With Smith and Rio, Old Farm Road. August 19, 2015.

selection from Part II, Sabbaths 2005-2008
in Leavings: Poems, (p 92-93) by Wendell Berry

Found your hope, then, on the ground under your feet.
Your hope of Heaven, let it rest on the ground
underfoot. Be lighted by the light that falls
freely upon it after the darkness of the nights
and the darkness of our ignorance and madness.
Let it be lighted also by the light that is within you,

which is the light of imagination. By it you see
the likeness of people in other places to yourself
in your place. It lights invariably the need for care
toward other people, other creatures, in other places
as you would ask them for care toward your place and you.

And saying goodbye to another dear friend, Joi Johanssen, who passed away last week, and in whose memory many of us gathered today, I kept thinking of this poem by Kathleen Raine

Who Are We?

Not that I remember, but that I am
Memory, am all that has befallen
Unbroken being and knowing
Whose flow has brought me here, laden with the forgotten
Times and places, once here and now
Of those who were, from day to day,
From life to life, as I,
Presences of that omnipresence without end or beginning,
Omniscient through our being,
That brings and takes away the unremembered living
Moments of joy and wisdom, the once-familiar
Rooms and temples and fountains, the long-ago gardens
Of a thousand summers, music once heard,
Travelling through me and on, like a wave
Of sound, a gleam
Irrecapturable. And who are we
Who gather each one leaf, one life of the myriadfold tree
Of the lost domain, and mourn
The flowing away of all we never were, or knew?
Promises, messages reach us, instruct us,
The untold, the untellable, undying
Heart’s desire, resonance
Of elsewhere, once, some day, for ever.

From Collected Poems of Kathleen Raine (Golgonooza Press, 2000)
– and from PoetryArchive.org

Dawn. August 18, 2015.

Dawn. August 18, 2015.

Wendell Berry, The Wild Rose

Sometimes hidden from me
in daily custom and in trust,
so that I live by you unaware
as by the beating of my heart.

Suddenly you flare in my sight,
a wild rose blooming at the edge
of thicket, grace and light
where yesterday was only shade,

and once again I am blessed, choosing
again what I chose before.

Thank you Mr. Berry… we read this poem today with our students, and it made many of us teachers,
prompt, precise and full of what we know,
(but in our knowing, some of us, softened by what we feel,)

show, in vulnerable glory, our aching tenderness,
our curdles and burdens. It brought us
closer, so much closer, to both our loves.
Thank you.

Moonrise. Wing.

Moonrise. Wing. Somewhere over New York. July, 2015.

Sometimes, its just fine

being a photographer

and knowing how to take a photograph.

Man with Dark Cloth (Murray Johnston). Arbroath, Scotland. 1986.

Man with Dark Cloth (Murray Johnston). Arbroath, Scotland. 1986.
Pt-pd print on 100% cellulose from original 8×10 negative.

[view full scan]

detail:

Man with Dark Cloth (Murray Johnston). Arbroath, Scotland. 1986.

Kiran and Rachel. Pool. July, 2015.

Kiran and Rachel. Pool. July, 2015.

Man with Kale (Murray Johnston). Arbroath, Scotland, 1986. Pt-pd print on 100% cellulose (Fabriano 5) from original 8x10 negative.

Man with Kale (Murray Johnston). Arbroath, Scotland, 1986. Pt-pd print on 100% cellulose (Fabriano 5) from original 8×10 negative.

Murray was one of my dearest friends in Scotland, and a tremendously important shaper of Scottish photography over the last few decades of the 20th century. There is so much I should say about Murray, much of it still laden with regret for not having spent more time with him, some of it still from puzzlement – this image seems a portent of the illness that took his life, and always, even in the photograph here, Murray’s painful, gut-clutching sense of humor.

[view full scan]

detail:

Man with Kale (Murray Johnston). Arbroath, Scotland, 1986. Pt-pd print on 100% cellulose (Fabriano 5) from original 8x10 negative.

Moti Malde, Sewanee, TN. July, 2015.

Moti Malde, Sewanee, TN. July, 2015.

I made this photograph today, using a lovely Leica Summicron-R 50mm f2 lens that belonged to my father when he lived in Tanzania. He gave it to me some years ago, and I recently had it cleaned up and serviced by Leica. I am glad to have it back in use again. The photograph completes a circle in many ways, as I am sure Moti photographed  me with this same lens when I was a child.

False and Impenetrable. I. 2001. Pt-pd print on 100% cellulose (

False and Impenetrable. I. 2001.
Pt-pd print on 100% cellulose (Buxton) from original 11×14 negative.
[see the full scan with reference target]

Another instance of printing decisions, this time to illustrate how dramatically the paper base can alter the expression. Both prints were made with exactly the same sensitizer and process, and given the same exposure. Buxton paper, above, printed darker and with less contrast than Cranes’ paper, below. Also note how cropping (yet another decision) an image affects the expression.

False and Impenetrable. I. 2001. Pt-pd print on 100% cellulose (

False and Impenetrable. I. 2001.
Pt-pd print on 100% cellulose (Cranes Business Card Stock) from original 11×14 negative.
[see the full scan with reference target]

detail of print on Buxton paper:

False and Impenetrable. I. 2001. Pt-pd print on 100% cellulose (

Detail of print on Cranes paper:

False and Impenetrable. I. 2001. Pt-pd print on 100% cellulose (

Melon. Marble. Kozo Hair. 1998. (From  'Dragon Series'). pt-pd p

Melon. Marble. Kozo Hair. 1998. (From  ‘Dragon Series’).
platinum palladium print on 100% cotton (Cranes Business Card Stock)
from original 11×14 negative. Print #1027.27
[see the full scan with reference target]


Melon. Marble. Kozo Hair. 1998. (From  'Dragon Series'). pt-pd p

 

Melon. Marble. Kozo Hair. 1998. (From  ‘Dragon Series’).
platinum palladium print on 100% cotton (Cranes Business Card Stock)
from original 11×14 negative. Print #1027.28
[see the full scan with reference target]

Two prints, both of which are final prints. But there are very subtle variations of contrast and intensity in the lighter values, which together render quite different expressions for me. The top print (#1027.27) has a bit more contrast and exposure in the bright areas, and when compared to the lower printer (#1027.28) the fibers (my dog, Kozo’s hair) are more distinct. There is a greater sense of luminosity. Yet the lower print has a greater continuity between the (more nuanced) highlights to the left of the marble, though the fibers that now seem to sweep out of this mush and on into the outer hemisphere of cosmic soap bubbles. It’s not a matter of which is better, but more of ‘listening’ to the different ways in which the substance of the image unfolds.

Detail from Print #1027.27

Melon. Marble. Kozo Hair. 1998. (From  'Dragon Series'). pt-pd p

Detail from Print #1027.28

Melon. Marble. Kozo Hair. 1998. (From  'Dragon Series'). pt-pd p