In The Garden – Blossom, Le Celle

blossom. wall. Near Le Celle, Cortona, Italy. March 2010.

Blossom. Wall. Near Le Celle, Cortona, Italy. March 2010.

It is strange how the work has already been done, but it takes a while for mind to catch up, to see what was seen; a mode of growth that may be particular to photography (what do you think?). This image, and several others made around the same time, have only just begun to fall into place for me. And the falling into place began a month ago, on a field trip with my students to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, after having seen, first-hand and in the hand, a mass of gorgeous prints by Paul Caponigro, Helen Levitt, Edward Weston, André Kértesz, Paul Strand, Harry Callahan and Vivian Maier at one of the South’s sweetest photo treasures, the Lumiere Gallery. What was seen is about being in the garden, the one that Stanley Kunitz, and in a very different way, William Blake, worked in.

By the way, with digital ‘bokeh filters’ being so popular via apps such as Instagram and other digital tools (such as Lightroom), it may be of interest to some that this image was made with an 8×10 inch camera and all the strange zones of focus in the photograph are rendered entirely by camera movements. It is, as such, a “no filter” photograph.

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One Comment

  1. “It is strange how the work has already been done, but it takes a while for mind to catch up, to see what was seen; a mode of growth that may be particular to photography (what do you think?).”

    I think that’s exactly right, and captures something I’ve been trying to express for a while. Because one’s eye can command one’s fingers to command the camera to capture something it has noticed, the conscious brain is often bypassed altogether.

    It’s that experience of leafing through contacts or thumbnails and thinking, “Wow, did I do/see that?” The honest answer is, “Well, part of me did…”, but that’s enough to claim it and, of course, build on it. It’s what working in series is all about.

    Mike

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