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THE COLLECTION

I took my first photographs with a view camera in 1974. I found my way seven years later at what I call the Weston Overlook, a maple swamp direct on the eastbound side of the Massachusetts Turnpike about 12 miles west of Boston.

There were more places (and subjects) than the nine shown here, but these were the most important. I returned to each again and again, probably averaging a decade of photographing at each. Clicking on any of the pictures will explain why these were my haunts and why they are central to my collection. And each fits the theme of being unexpected, hidden and nearby.

The first six were all within a 45 minute drive of my home and so I visited often at sunrise.

The bottom three are all in Maine, most an eight hour drive. Nevertheless, once I discovered Maine, they become regular stops, usually in the fall.

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE FOR THE FULL STORY

See the MUSIC and FLOWERS galleries for their story. It is new work still in development.

THE EYE OPENER: PART I

THE EYE OPENER: PART II

THE MIND OPENER

Realizations often come slowly, at least to me. At this point I had been photographing professionally for thirteen years and this small passage had a profound effect on me. “That undiscovered country of the nearby, the secret world...” brought to mind “the hidden world of the nearby,” and then a short verse:

out of the corner of my eye
in the hidden world of the nearby,
untended gardens thrive
or pass from time unnoticed

As I continued to photograph and especially my experience at Walden Pond, and now my experience writing about the destruction of our planet I began to think that this touched upon something very important, and perhaps even endemic to our species. This may be stretching it, but I don’t think so.

The question is what images, impressions, judgments and blocks of any kind interfere with our perceptions, and the nearer the experience, the more familiarity of it will make it appear so normal that we no longer know it is there.

Prejudements of any kind come to mind, but the most amazing to me is the actual experience of seeing, something call “sentenience.” We “see” what is in front of us and around us, yet the only input to our brains is two small continuously changing images on our two retinas. From those our brains construct almost all the experience of the space we are in, a three dimensional movie, highly detailed, colorful, textured with full knowledge of what we will feel if we reach out to touch something even if we are in a space we have never experienced before. And it can change with remarkable speed and the mind keeps up. The world is not hidden, although it is as nearby as can be, an inch or so from our brains, but our knowedge of this supremely extraordinary experience is mostly missing, both from our thoughts and from how it works. Science has no clue about how “experience” is created. And then follows our subjective reactions: is it beautiful, does it frighten, would we like to preserve it or do we close our eyes, hoping it will go away.

I have 20,000 sheets of 4" x 5" transparency film where I choose “keep” with the expectation that I would turn it into a print that would preserve a portion of the experience, or perhaps even enhance it by composing, selecting out just the portion that entranced me.

I think it is time to look at some pictures. Following are links to fifteen galleries from twenty eight years of photographing with a view camera, the view camera capturing ever bit of texture and color possible with the technology available. Clicking on an image will take you to its gallery.

Among these images, although they were unexpected in once sense, they were nevertheless in national parts. However, those on interstate highways and others on the most ordinary of roadsides still amaze me. On of my favorites was at a busy intersection on my commute when I worked at Bose. You can see it by clicking here: MY ROAD HOME.

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