In 1785, Robert Burns in his poem “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough” penned the memorable line “In proving foresight may be vain: The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men Gang aft agley”. Although most only quote the last eleven words, the preceding five may be the most valuable and contrary to many photographers chest thumping proclamations that research and preparing are the foundation of meaningful imaging, sometimes the failure of foresight yields unexpected treasures (aka keepers). I resist stating some of these imaging idiosyncrasies for fear of being tarred and feathered by the cognoscenti however just today I found a well-known professional with the courage to visit the same subject here.
While rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated, they may be fueled by a dearth of activity on this blog. My long absence is a story that is multifaceted, however the Readers Digest version could be simply stated, “Stuff Happens” (You may substitute the colloquial expletive if you so desire.)
We all have started a simple project; one which we have wanted to tackle for a long time. The concept itself is often pretty basic: “I want to clean up the boxes that have been sitting in the attic and taking up space for what seems like eons. The process seems to be a singular step or maybe two: “I’ll empty them out ‘one by one’, throwing out all the worthless or uninteresting stuff and compact the rest into boxes by category.” Alas however, we all know that any project soon succumbs to the “Topsy Effect”, a phrase I invented to describe the inevitable expansion of an endeavor to never imagined proportions. The Topsy Effect” refers directly to the moment in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s classic “Uncle Toms Cabin” where the delightful black child Topsy is asked “Topsy, “Do you know who made you?” To which she tacitly replies, “I Jus Growed!”
It’s the last day of 2012 and I’m grateful for a safe journey front-to-back. I almost said uneventful but although that’s a convenient euphemism for a period without crisis, I think it is really a sacrilege to say that something as precious as a year passed without a person’s notice of the miracles and wonders that occur every second of every day.
A photographer should be about the business of capturing some of these events that would otherwise be ignored and invalidated by most of us if no effort were made to grant the day it’s just due. As a way of reflecting on my year I’ve quickly selected twelve photographs to try to caption with my version of meaning.
Part Three: Thaw
As day approached its close, a man appeared and climbed a small bluff, facing away from the sunset and toward the light playing on the shattered high dune to the south west. He erected a tripod and mounted a painter’s box and a 6 x 8 canvas.
Part Two: Lucy
Saturday dawned windy but brighter than all the previous days and after breakfast and a little motoring around, we arrived at Lucy Vincent Beach. This being really off season a stream of mostly locals were on hand, having heard the word and wanting to see what Sandy had done to Lucy. As I overheard conversations amongst them, almost all were saying “This is amazing”, “Look at that!” and “This didn’t look anything like this last week.” All eyes seemed to look left at the large cleft the storm had carved from the enormous dunes to the left as you enter the beach area.
Part One: Sandy
It’s very rarely that I get to spend time on Martha’s Vineyard. Economically, it’s just beyond my reach to spend a week there during “the season” and even “off season”, lodging is still precious beyond belief. However the last week in October Dotty and I were given the generous gift of a weeks stay at a cute and comfy timeshare in Edgartown.