Bloody Hell! Where's the blog been? Well, I've been a little indisposed. There was some surgery and then recovery, there was even a half hearted attempt to write something and post it but in reading it just now I realized it was incoherent. I think this one will be better.
This is a post about a single photograph, one of mine made mid-winter in New England at Martha's Vineyard this past February.
I confess to being a little obsessed. Here it is:
Not so special, you're thinking. Some of you may even know where it is, right off the only road up island in Chilmark heading toward Aquinnah.
Actually, it isn't one photograph. It is about nine. It is many frames shot vertically and sequentially from left to right with about a 20% overlap, then stitched together. Lightroom will do this but will clip a very large file. I suggest Photoshop. What have you got? One honking large file and if you've been careful in exposure and focus consistency something that will go huge and well. The image you see now sits in my studio, framed at 84 inches across:
It is, in a word, gorgeous. Soft and diffuse flat light, with, rare for the Vineyard in the winter, no wind. The water calm and balancing the hazy light blue of the sky with the center growth pinpoint sharp and mimicked by the shape of the trees framing the reeds in front. Often large photographs disappoint up close. For instance, I found myself mostly critical of the large prints by present-day photographers hanging at the MFA in the recent Ansel Adams show. Not this one. Readable from down the hallway into my studio and spectacular from 8 inches out, my kind of big photograph.
Every time I enter the studio and turn on the overheads I am hit with a photograph that has tremendous impact because of its size but am just as impressed with it subtlety, nuanced color palette and resolution.
I also find this photograph reflective of my frame of mind, as I was dealing with a diagnosis of prostate cancer two weeks before surgery when I made it. All those questions and concerns now past me as my surgery is over and I am in recovery, slowly building my strength back day by day and with lab results showing no spread of cancer with just needing a checkup in three months.