Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Sun and Shadows

I like to come up with a project or theme so I can just follow a list rather than waiting around until I see something to photograph. Last week I couldn’t come up with any coherent idea so I loaded the Variable Cuboid and hoped I would find inspiration.

Famous YouTube star Joe Van Cleave has commented several times about his admiration of my consistency and I haven’t quite figured out what he means by that. From my point of view, I’m all over the place jumping from one subject to another, mixing angles of view, color and monochrome and formats ranging from 35mm to 4x5 inch negatives. I read an article by a gallery curator recently that said it helps to have a portfolio with a consistent theme in order to get your work exhibited. I’ve never been able to do that. Many of my favorite photographers such as Cunningham, Weston and Steichen jumped from portraiture, architecture, landscape and abstracts. They all had a pretty recognizable style no matter what genre they were working in. Maybe that’s what he means. Do I have a recognizable style?

The temperatures have gotten quite moderate and we’ve had an extended period of sunshine, so I could go out on my bicycle with the camera and see if anything interesting appeared before me. I’m not sure if I had anything to do with it but a theme of sunshine and shadows seemed to develop, that I became aware of about two-thirds of the way through the roll.

I started with the 35mm front. Before I even had a chance to go out, the early morning sunbeams highlighted these faux-topiary pieces on the mantle piece.

Shortly thereafter, it fell on the shelf containing half of the books featured in my festival of reading.

Upstairs, the sunbeam fell on the end of the towel rack. Got a little overexposed.

Out on my bicycle,  I passed the all-black, back wall of The Dollar Store with red bollards protecting the door and metal grids over the windows.

A uniform grey loading dock.

A few days later, I put the 100mm front on and went out after a few scenes I had been waiting to get all winter. A front corner of Merrill Middle School.

The big lecture room wing of Sage Hall has a green roof. This spiral staircase is the only way to get up there.


The stairwell in the back of Merrill Elementary School which connects to the 1970’s addition.

There was a discussion about nudes in the Photography Books and Theory group on Facebook and this came to mind while looking at a sunbeam on the floor of the bathroom. I had changed back to the 35mm front. I always have to relearn the lesson that the shutter also can cast a shadow during the exposure.

Back to the 100mm front. One of the brackets which hold up the mantle piece. I’m pretty sure there’s not supposed to be a face on it.

I never wear shoes around the house. They most often constitute a hazard to navigation wherever I’ve left them. Can this be classified as a footograph?

The bundle of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy which Sarah bought in 1972. They’ve been read by both of us at least once a decade including reading the entire series aloud to Andy at bedtime. You can lose your voice trying to talk like a troll or an orc.

The Variable Cuboid makes 6x6cm negatives.  The film was my first roll ever of Ilford Delta 100, semi-stand developed in Rodinal 1:100.

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