In the first light of dawn, in the coastline’s haze, leaning from the steep slope without fear of wind or vertigo, an invisible landscape conditions the visible one. The city outside there has a name, yet we don’t know if it will remain outside or whether its whole story will be contained within the blueprint’s inky blackness. If you want to know how much darkness there is around you, you must sharpen your eyes, peering at the faint lights in the distance. The city displays one face to the traveler arriving overland and a different one to him who arrives by sea. With cities, it is as if with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. Thus, the first secret spot that draws you outside is a stump and board bench on a high terrace overlooking the sea and the bay. With a never-ending view and a stunted tree for shelter, like a bird’s wing to stick your head under, you are hidden. No one knows where you are -- your mother is calling and you are not answering.
Creative photographers bring forward to light, to presence, to life, the unseen by others. Photography is an elegiac art, a twilight art. Most subjects photographed are, just by virtue of being photographed, touched with pathos. An ugly or grotesque subject may be moving because it has been dignified by the attention of the photographer. A beautiful subject can be the object of rueful feelings because it has aged or decayed or no longer exists. The very question of whether photography is, or is not, an art is essentially a misleading one. Although photography generates works that can be called art, it requires subjectivity, it can lie, it gives aesthetic pleasure, Photography is not, to begin with, an art form at all. It is a medium in which works of art, among other things, are made. One would think that a photographer finds the images but the truth is the images should find the photographer. This happens when one is receptive, being alert and curious, keeping an open mind. The photographic skill is reflected in the photographer’s ability to create an experience of the image and successfully convey it to the viewer in that single frame -- you photograph what you know is there, not what you can see.
Bare feet and bare soul, I think I’ll keep walking ‘til I don’t feel so alone. How is it that the mind can wander even when there’s nowhere to go? Asphalt might seem rough to some, but to me, it is the grating pain that reminds me I’m alive. A pebble to the heel is as exquisite as a sharp knife. I stop for a moment and remind myself to take it all in. The ethereal valley before me is surely a charming viridescent hue, how is it I see only in grays? They say that when one of our senses is weakened another is heightened. This must be true because I am so acutely aware of the silence that I’m sure I could hear the wind, were it ever to decide to blow again. How I ache for a morning Zephyr to kiss my hollow cheek. I wonder how many, if any, feet have touched the same spot on which I stand. How many have been lost on their journey and found themselves in this wanderer's land? ~ Francesca
I spend my whole life driving in cars with boys. Riding around town drinking in the white noise. Used to talk about where we are and where we go. Now we know, baby, now we know. I spent my whole life wasted in bars with boys. Playing Rock ‘n’ Roll, dancing in the loud noise. Mommy’s Mercedes or Billy’s pickup truck. Comes out late at night and baby picks me up. Tell him just drive on and don’t ever stop. Don’t take me home again, take me to a new land. Sometimes I wanna give in, but I just have to go on. They say I’m wasting time, they said that I’m no good. Summer of my life, not doing what I should. Call me poison ivy ’cause I’m far from good. Pretty from afar, like a dark star. They think I’m dangerous, they think I’m really bad, I’m just making up for what I never had. Go out every night whenever I feel sad, oh, this drive by love got me crazy like a drug.
She's rich and she commands a room with her body beautiful persona. She wants a photograph and accepts only the best. The best will deliver envious perfection. We all know that the photograph has a purpose, it has to be truthful, honest. "Portray the generic beauty of my perfect life," she demands. Photographer: Reveal the truth, be unimportant, unseeing and empty like the soul of this trophy wife. She lets him in, reveals herself and the photographic eye sees she has a soul searching complexity. He waits and watches. The photographer senses a beautiful honesty in this broken dynamic and he senses that today she is not a discarded and forgotten trophy. He waits for the lonely place in her heart to find it. They talk, laugh, they forget about the camera so he doesn’t need to dissolve, he can use a flash and she won’t notice it, they are too engrossed in each other. They drop their personas for this moment of picture taking. They play, they talk. "Show me your beautiful eyes," he says and she laughs, tempted. The photographic eye senses it and waits for that perfect moment and he takes it, the heart, and immediately the truth becomes immortalized leaving her to return to her busy life. ~ Kalahari
She smokes ‘cause it makes her feel chic. She jokes to disguise what she means. She has a pretty painted face and skin-tight jeans. All the men stop and stare when she gets out to dance -- she’s so pretentious. Everybody knows her kind -- she’s so pretentious. Just messing with our mind -- she’s as pretentious as can be, but man that girl does a number on me. She drives a red topless Speedster. She thrives on having lots of famous friends. She buys dresses from Paris and boots made in Spain. Gotta a rich sugar daddy, who keeps her in cocaine. She broke and came knocking at my door, we stroked ‘til a quarter past four. I saw her the next evening. She smiled at me and winked. Jumped in a new Corvette, motored down the street -- she’s so pretentious. ~ Jerry Browning
The Indians say to draw someone’s portrait is to steal their soul. I take photographs, does it mean that I am just borrowing them? Though photography is like stealing – you rob someone of a moment that exposes something essential about their character, their soul if you like. To photograph people is to violate them, by seeing them as they never see themselves, by having knowledge of them that they can never have; it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed. The terrifying thought that everyone, friend or foe, can get so close to you, look you straight in the eye and judge you without having any control over it or being able to respond. A part of them has become the property of the photographer. All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s, or thing’s, mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt. Between photographer and subject, there has to be distance. The camera doesn’t rape, though it may presume, intrude, trespass, distort, and at the farthest reach of metaphor, assassinate – all activities that can be conducted from a distance, and with some detachment -- still, there is something predatory in the act of taking a picture.
A woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets, little did I know that when the photographer asked to take my picture he would expose mine. He was supposed to see in black and white. Do not display these little facts saved for my secret place. In this world I float free, releasing my grip on life and the past. I get to miss all of those of whom I have lost sight, those who will forever have a part of me. Here I face truth's spectrum of love and shadows, I must. If not these shadows will creep into my existence, my conscience and cause the ghost of me to haunt all I touch, this ghost that climbs on the table in her bridal negligee. You may try to raise your arm against her but you will just catch that bridal bouquet so dance with her, slowly, patiently with a lover's embrace. She will turn your terror into a fire of desire. See the beauty of the nonbeautiful and ignite your own wild creature. ~ Kalahari
The moon rests en utero waiting for her to release the night. Dusk hangs heavy and exhausted long beyond time for the day’s retirement. She lingers in purgatory between ambivalence and confidence, only willing to liberate twilight when her powers feel strong and her courage is high. She makes her choice carefully. It must be an unfailing ride to ferry her into the depths of darkness, for it’s there that broken souls step out of their own hell and find solace in the crowded shadows. She wraps herself tightly in her coat and contemplates the pounding in her chest. It is not fear, but anticipation. Longing to reach the place where she’ll find peace in opaque dreams. Hidden from the prying eyes of those that would judge her. Removed from the tight grasp of those that would tame her. She turns the wheel to her lunar guide and blossoms like the moonflower in eventide. ~ Francesca