Landscape Commentaries - lightsongfineart

Landscape Commentaries


Landscapes 1974 ~ 2005

The images shown here are selected from those I made with a 4"x 5" view camera. The beginning was largely experimental and, as I described on the home page, I think my work came into its own in the early 1980 with the discovery of budding trees seen from the vantage points the Massachusetts Turnpike providfed. Nevertheless, whether by skill or luck some of my favorite images were made during the earlist years.

My work covers Oregon to Arizona to Florida and much in between (especially the Smokies) but concentrates in Massachusetts and Maine. I found my own group of not-obvious locations (my own “national parks” if you will) by persistence combined with a bit of luck. I found early on that hiking through the woods was not profitable. One could rarely find open spaces although I loved the textures of ground covers (mosses, lichens, leaves) and these could turn up anywhere.

Primarily in spring and fall I would begin before sunrise (mist, dew and frost were often what made the image). Summer was dominated by fairly monochromatic green. Winter was best when ice storms came and I lucked out with some that were spectacular. Mostly I just drove (and wore out cars) keeping my eye on the side of the road. Sometimes this was on Interstate highways but mostly it was back roads.

Eventually I began to realize that my esthetic approach was to find texture first, whether fine grained like frost or ensembles of leaves such as a wall of trees, and then to look for a composition. I preferred to not have a strong center of focus. I wanted the eye to wander but to leave enough structure to guide it a bit. The water-shields at Walden and the ponds in Maine and New Hampshire especially satisfying.

I discovered Walden in 1991 and produced two books with text by Henry David Thoreau. I stopped shooting with my view camera in 2005 and counted film boxes and discovered I had exposed 20,000 sheets of transparency film (plus a fair number of negatives which I did not print).

When my drives began to show me the same images again and again and I began to think “I‘ve shot that before and it was better last time,” this indicated it was time to move on.

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