This post follows Shirley 2, about a series of photographs I made this past winter 2023.
Sometimes people criticize my series work for some of the pictures in the series not sustaining the overall tone or intensity of others in the group. I get that, but believe they are not seeing the whole picture, pun intended. Just as in musical composition, there needs to be rhythm and pacing. This picture is one of those, a breather and a setup for what is to follow. As it turns out our frontal empty house had more behind it. We can see that now on the left of the frame. With empty space in the middle, we can see where we are headed on the right, there is the hint of a fuel tank of sorts and a fenced-in propane tank too. Not a stand-alone picture but necessary to link what precedes with what is to come.
Bang! What an insult of a photograph! Very little subtlety, two trucks in your face. Nothing refined, so far from any apparent artistry. Clearly we are no longer up the street at the house Daddy made for Mama. We are in front of a family business with two oil trucks. There is nothing here that looks at all prosperous and this is born out by what comes next.
I've done this before, working to take us out of our comfort zone and into a more mundane and practical world.
Hershey, PA 1996
We'll finish this post here, with only two more pictures to finish the series. Of note again, after working on the files for a bit, starting to make some prints, wrestling with how they should look, I went back to Shirley thinking I could maybe fill the series out, that perhaps I'd find something to deepen it and extend it. Not to be found, as it turned out. Actually, it was plain wrong. I struggled with that, wanting more but having to realize that what I'd had that first day was it and there was nothing more. My favorite quote from Kurt Vonnegut,"And so it goes."
On to Shirley 4.