Scars

The side of a hull is interesting on so many levels. As an abstraction, photographed somewhat out of context, it becomes mysterious but engaging. I love its palette. And it's pure utility, ugly. It is also a record of events in every blemish, every pock. And there are many. It is a story of constancy, geography, erosion, branding, man-hours, torsional stress, and a perfect record of it all.

Sanctuary

Church. That's what these magnificent places in our state are for me. I am humbled by the size, by the oddity, and by the great age of these land features only hours away. It is a privilege to behold them. I am happiest in these cathedrals. They compel me to do them justice. Humility can't even describe the state of wonder I feel in and amongst these formations.

Oxygen

I breathe deeper when a viewfinder is pressed to my eye. As I'm depressing the shutter, I'm holding it, but the whole process and approach to that moment, respiarations are slow, even and deep. Walking and looking with intention is very much an act of meditation-- a very healthful practice. I was in St. John's the other week on a walkabout that would end encircling the St. John's Bridge, and this fellow was having his lunch. I said, "May I?", and he said, "Of course." The cat didn't give his permission.

Synecdoche

My favorite example of a synecdoche is "the 'suits' walked into the room". A photograph is a thing. Just like Magritte's painting of a pipe is a thing but not a pipe. But these photographs are paintings and not photographs. They are records. They are not ships nor painted over weathered graffiti. I often see this way-- one or two steps out from the thing that it is. I need this in my life for some reason.

O Death

These are my Mother's hands in death. A week in hospice was like an upper level college course on death and dying. But it was a week of pain and tears, laughter and insight in that very caring place. I was truly conflicted about recording something that would not deny the truth about death but be respectful of Mom. When I looked at her hands, I thought of her life in an instant-- that time when I was was five and we hit a puppy and had to find the owner. The time when I wanted to run around outside, and chase my neighbor Tony with a squirt gun-- but she said "No! Take a nap!". I was with her when she passed. It was an incredible privilege.

Love/Hate

Photography is crack. It is a drug that won't let you go. It brings out the worst and I love it. The worst are my biases and generalizations, my obsessiveness and lust for gear, my incessant need to share and get gratification from kudos. I love it because it makes me see these things and because I breathe when I do it and notice the tiniest things around me. I love it because it facilitates relation with others and transports anyone anywhere. In this case, the Painted Hills.

Things Going Away (Sabi)

I am after them. The fading. The moribund. The aged. It is more imperative all the time. The faster life goes, the more motivated I become to hold onto these precious relics of that quieter, slower time. The stories of scars make them honorable scars. The Peter French round barn in central Oregon is such a place. Inside, are star wars and bird dog fights.

Symmetry

Why are we so struck by the symmetrical (although this one isn't precisely symmetrical)? I guess reflections are fascinating for the same reason we like kaleidoscopes and myriad other distortions. I like it because suddenly our normal world takes on design references and makes the ordinary extraordinary. The Fremont Bridge here isn't ordinary as it is, but the shot begs to really get in there and explore around in it.

Ice Planet

Surface and scale. These are elements I find attention grabbing. The subject matter here is entirely mysterious with no clues. That goes against my modus operandi because one cannot suss out what's up. But it drew me in and I like it. These were enormous tanks for some kind of storage-- probably beer since a brewery is nearby. But it was such a gentle giant (there I go anthropomorphizing again), nestled into it's dark hollow. I found the surface so icy. It was an ice planet floating in space.

Pets Are People

We love them. They are our family. And for some reason, we like other people's petshots too. Here are a few of Atticus Finch, our 10 year old terrier,and Tipitina, our head of household.

Anthropomorphic

Why do we anthropomorphize so much around us? I do it with my dogs. (They're people anyhow.) I know I see character in inanimate objects wherever I go. I think it's our imagination at work from the vestiges of survival. We needed to anticipate threat and forms suggest animation and animation could mean danger. Whatever. This little guy has a great hat.

Breathe

Yes, it's important to breathe. Hold it while pressing the shutter. Breathe while looking. Awareness starts with the breath. I used to poo poo this stuff with the best of them. But the constancy of our breath punctuates the seconds. Work to notice it and gradually THIS moment becomes lucid. And a lucid moment fits the activity of photographing exactly. Or whatever the pursuit may be: analysis, invention, determination, patience, listening, giving birth(I've been in the room a couple of times). Stillness is the road to awareness. Awareness brings us into the present. In the present moment, now, is when we are at our best. Not projecting into the past or hoping about some future time. Now, tak

Air

There is nothing there. That's what I wanted to photograph. Well, there is something. There is the sadness of emptiness; loneliness. The bedspread has this grid on it that reminded me of one of those grids they use to illustrate a black hole, or the bending of space. It illustrated aloneness or to me. This is the wabi of wabi sabi. (See wabi sabi blog entry.) Photographing space or air requires an object to set it against. It's a great exercise.

State of Openness

Leonardo DaVinci would go to bed with a cannonball in his hands on his chest. When he fell asleep, the cannonball would fall, wake him, and he'd write down what he was thinking at the time. He was hypnopompic-- between sleeping and waking-- and it's our most open minded time. We imagine, unbridled, in this state. I tried hypnosis for a while to deal with a problem I was having and learned that the process involves guided relaxation until a deep, anxiety-free state is achieved. This is slowly paired with the anxiety until one is able to recall the relaxed feeling and the anxiety goes away. Watching my mind "play" was startling. So now, I try to re-induce that place of inventiveness as I photo

Transportation

When I look at an image, I love to be transported. I like it when I am carried away to a place I have not been and the more entranced I get the more successful the photograph. I really prefer not to use terms like success or failure, and being transported isn't the only effect an image may have. But the idea here is that often the camera and resulting image can put us there to varying degrees and achieving it is a game I like to play. As well as ping pong.

Invention

There is a meditation technique called open focus. I know I don't practice this all day every day-- unless I'm engaged in playing music or photographing. The activity of invention involves this special awareness that is beneficial far beyond making stuff. But the trance that one enters for creating, inventing, visualizing, etc. is what it's all about. I watched an American Masters program on Tom Petty recently, and Mr. Petty describes writing a particular song, and the steps that he went through inventing it. This is fascinating to me. What is the space we enter to invent? How is it accessed and nurtured? When does it happen? How do we know our work (whatever our work is), is right? Is finis

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