White Birches in Concrete

December 04, 2020  •  2 Comments

White Birch ReflectionsWhite Birch Reflections

 

White Birches in Concrete

 

During a socially distanced outdoor class I taught last August, I was drawn to capture a

subject without knowing quite why. Late one afternoon, after a couple of months had

lapsed, I was at my computer, preparing to introduce Aaron Siskind’s abstraction works to

my students. With Zoom, I try to include many of my images as illustrations. While editing

images in this particular folder, I felt the joy of being while immersed in creativity. This

image would not let me go...something about the texture, the marks but also the

suggestion that what I was looking at had qualities that extended beyond the edges of the

picture, something that the great Minor White would attribute to 'what else is it'...This

image when taken out of context is something quite different from its reality. The vertical

marks separated by a horizontal line reminded me of a stand of white birch trees reflecting

on a lake. By removing the color, the graphic qualities are more enhanced, and the literal

drips of paint become a gesture for a very different scene.

Being able to see this kind of abstraction is something I've been moving towards in both my

personal work and in my instruction. It has nothing really to do with photography on a

technical level other than having a fast enough shutter speed to hold the camera steady. It

is more about being patient enough to allow the image to come to me, even if I am not sure

why. It is about getting closer to my subject and connecting on a very intuitive level. The

inherent beauty in a very mundane subject is a very consistent metaphor in Siskind’s work

and I felt that by studying the master, I was able to tune into abstraction in a new way. This

refinement in vision is a path I feel very excited about pursuing.

 

 

 


Comments

Grace(non-registered)
I love your own 'becoming,' just as you describe the photograph 'becoming' what it truly is. Seeing deeply is truly seeing.
Pam Galli(non-registered)
Thanks, touched by the pieces, image and blog; love the idea of pursuing refinement in vision and curious how that plays out for me!
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