A Personal History #6

This will finish (for the time being) the Personal History series I've been posting for the past month or so. If you're just starting on these you might go back and read #1,#2,#3,#4 and #5 first.

By 2015 my methodology was a well-oiled machine and these years, post my teaching position, have been some of the most productive as well as lucrative of my career. Although technically retired I have been anything but.

In the fall of that year, I made a quick trip to Salt Lake City, Utah to make aerial photographs of the potash evaporation pools in Great Salt Lake.

These were some of the best aerial files I had ever made as there was so much light reflecting back from the ground I could use a lower ISO and had more depth of field too. By this time I was using the Nikon D810,  which was a favorite as it corrected all of the problems inherent to the D800. I make prints from these files 40 x 28 inches. As I write this I am headed in late October 2018 back to Salt Lake this weekend. Can't wait. 

Later that fall of 2015 and over the winter of 2016 I got a little sidetracked as I had both my hips replaced. My experience was completely positive and I would recommend this to anyone with worn-out hips. By the spring I was back at it, although not traveling so much, and made a new series of pictures called "Zinc Apartments" of a new apartment complex in Cambridge, where I lived.

These are an anomaly in my oeuvre and perhaps might have something to do with residual drugs in my system as they are certainly unusual pictures for me. I made some of them while still on crutches.

Over the winter 2016/2017 I had a new obsession: I photographed boats in boatyards that were shrink wrapped. 

These bizarre and very abstract photographs have not been shown. They should be. They are here.

By the summer of 2017, I was back in Iceland teaching for the Baer Art Centre. This new work was shown in January at the New England School of Photography.

I spent much of the winter of 2018 on the West Coast and photographed, both aerially and on the ground, damage from the firestorms in both Southern and Northern California.

I also made a new series of photographs from downtown San Jose that pay homage to a way of working I started in 1981.

and aerially photographed the Salt Evaporation Ponds at the southern edge of San Fransisco Bay

and photographed mannequins at a rental warehouse in Oakland...and, last, made pictures called "On the Road to Pinnacles"a state park.

So, now relatively up to date and in conclusion we have looked at a long career in overview. Please do not presume I am done but allow me a few thoughts on what has been many decades and an overwhelming preoccupation. First, on working this hard for this long in one discipline: many cannot, of course.  Friends and colleagues have spun out of still photography on to other fields and I get that. But I still have great love for the medium and believe we have not seen all that it can do. I certainly still find it hugely challenging and, with less frequency, rewarding too. My goal way back in my early days was to make a contribution to photography, in whatever form; for my pictures to be regarded as somehow important enough or significant enough to be thought of as adding to a very large whole of truly important work.  Of course, the medium is so very different now. It was impossible to conceive of where it would go in the late 1960's when I first met Harry Callahan, and took my first class, almost 50 years ago! 

What's in my future? To continue to travel and photograph and write as I have done for so long, as long as I am able to; to exhibit and publish and to promote my work and to teach. My daughter Maru and I  have formed an LLC which will market my photography and she will represent other artists as well. We are called Insight Arts Management (IAM). More on this soon. 

Some housekeeping issues: All of the works I've cited in all of the Personal History Series are represented on the gallery page of my website and most are searchable through the search function of the blog.

As always, I am most appreciative of your readership and hope that by sharing my experiences I can assist you in yours, at least shedding some light on one person's narrative.

Stay tuned.

Topics: Commentary

Permalink | Posted October 30, 2018