A cube or a box – the physical structure of the spaces we tend to inhabit for the majority of our days are cubes or boxes. There’s the cube or box of home. There’s the cube or box of work. As human beings it’s important that we find the third and fourth cubes beyond our work environment and beyond the home, the third and fourth elements of our day that balance out contact with work and withdrawal from endeavor. The analogy works forward in terms of thinking outside the box, breaking from routine and locating yourself in activities in the world to gain perspective on your world. Add a camera to the equation and the analogy drills down a step – you’re gaining perspective on the world you live in in much more concrete terms. Photography allows for that look at your broader context. Photography orients you to the beauty you’ll find that’s only minutes away. In fifteen minutes, I’d driven east and found these cattails at day’s end on a warmer spring day well into melt.
Listening to – The Five Blind Boys of Alabama and their rendition of Run On For A Long Time, Feed A Man by Billy Bragg & Wilco, Shakedown on 9th Street by Ryan Adams, Buffalo by Kathleen Edwards, Fully Completely by The Tragically Hip, Wonderwall by Ryan Adams, Eh Hee by Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, You Might Die Trying by the Dave Matthews Band, U2’s Wake Up Dead Man and Jack Johnson’s Rodeo Clowns.
Quote to Inspire – “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” – Ansel Adams
Car photography especially of early fifties vehicles, for me, derives from my learning to steer a car and then to drive one sitting next to a favourite, older cousin in his copper brown and white 1951 Mercury four-door. Strong-arm steering meant that effort was needed to guide the Mercury down dusty gravel roads. These drives usually followed Sunday get-togethers of my family from Edmonton with his in Rimbey, Alberta. The event, recalled to memory is that of a late spring or early summer drive, following an evening meal and Walt Disney. I might have been nine or ten years old when I first took the wheel for some good, adventure-filled times before saying our goodbyes, parting company and returning home in an hour-long drive to Edmonton. Always, my aunt, uncle and three cousins would wave to us from their porch as we left. Our families might see each other again in a month or two. Those were good times.
My starting point for this photograph is curious. I am unable to determine the make of this early fifties two-door sedan. Given that this Blue Hills’ farm and its woods have seemingly been left as if in the middle of things, its abandonment indicates something unfinished in not just one life but in the lives of a few. Here, what is sacred is often about the conception of ‘what-has-happened-here.’ It associates to memory that will not fade and cannot be left. With this image, just as in no-trace camping the art is to pass through an area without disturbing it, this photograph presents the necessity of capturing something seemingly sacred without disturbance – reverence and respect are needed.
Listening to the Dave Matthews Band from the album Stand Up and the childhood/teen reminiscences of Old Dirt Hill, a song that recalls my go-cart, our garage and back alley … and friends at Easter break in Edmonton in grade 5 – 1972 … what a week (and to be grounded part-way through).
Quote to Inspire – “A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.” —Diane Arbus
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