Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Downeast Monochrome...

   I didn't concentrate on my monochrome images while I was Down East but I didn't forget about them altogether.  My first thought of doing a monochrome photograph came when I visited West Quoddy Head Light outside of Lubec, Maine.

   This was a bit of a surprise since the famous lighthouse is known for its striking red stripe motif.  I, on the other hand, loved the angles and tones and geometric quality of the place.  It reminded me of my Tamworth series, Rural Geometry.

  In fact, all three monochrome images I made harkened to other series I've done.  This image of the sails of a ship model at the Tides Institute in Eastport made me think of the Simplicity and Light series from Pleasant Hill, Kentucky.

    This brings me to the third image, a simple study of a gull.  A gull was also one of my Monhegan Monochrome photographs.

   I know most people think of gulls in less than praise worthy terms but I love them and I always am drawn to their soft forms and tones and this gull had such a sharp and penetrating eye.  He seemed to look right into my being.

   This got me thinking (you see how my mind works, a meandering maze!) about something Diane Walker said in her guest post recently.  (If you missed it, you can read it here.)  A gallery owner said of her work, "I can always tell a Diane Walker photograph."  It got me wondering if people could tell a "Patricia Turner" photograph from any other.

   I can't say I think too much about my individual style.  It is part and parcel of who I am and I can't really change it anymore than I can change my eye color.  But I do believe who we are directs what we are attracted to and what we become attracted to is what we photograph.  Ultimately, they form a kind of a visual autobiography. (You can read a previous post on the idea here.)

    This all leads me finally to think about hosting, at some point in the not too distant future, an on-line retrospective of my work. (That sounds a bit too pretentious for my taste but indulge me as I can't think of another term.)  I would do it as an exercise of discrimination.  Could I wade through all my work and pull out say 50 images that, should all the others be lost, would best represent my work over the last 8 years?  What would the collection of images say about me?

   One of the photographers on my Down East house share asked me if I would do with my old images what I do with my old journals...just chuck them out!  I'm not sure I'm ready to do that but it's an interesting concept and the ultimate in non-attachment.  For now, I'll see if I can narrow all of my images down to just 50.  That would be enough of a challenge... 




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