Want to find the photographic equivalent to saying something that has (obvious) components of wrongs or untruths and then twist it around to make a point.
Or do I?
I’m in this valley twice a week, if not more. Normally wearing running shoes, sometimes accompanied by a borrowed dog. It has become a place of significance. So has dog, significant.
One photograph doesn’t describe it, the valley. Of course it doesn’t but then, of course it does, only to a very limited extent. Also, now would be a good time to ask; why describe it, but that’s a digression, for another time perhaps.
It is possible to photograph the valley from above, covering a good part of it in one frame but that’s at a distance, an overview, and somehow disconnected from the place itself.
(Which reminds me that I photograph too much from above, looking outwards, disconnected from the subject.)
Three are alright, five are even better, seven may be just a little too much and eleven most certainly is, it’s not as if this is a very long valley.
Oh, I forgot to mention that they have to be a prime number. Must place the OCD somewhere.
But what if they are ten to begin with, the photographs, and one of them excuses itself fairly easily but then the rest competes for the remaining slots? Fight for them. Nine photos, two too many—if not four—and none of them is about to leave voluntarily.
Also forgot to mention that three of the nine are verticals. Are verticals ok by the way? Or just troublemakers?
It probably would be easiest to simply toss the verticals, then toss one more, end up with five and move on. Forget about this set of photos and how it occupied an insignificant amount of time in april 2020.
But what if one of the verticals really has the essence of the place? One of seven is—yes what is that? Too symmetrical, or not symmetrical enough?
And what’s with the cheesy frames?
Yes, the frames. I sometimes miss my prints since a previous lifetime, now is one of those times. And now that I think of it, I also miss the tiny darkroom and the old Durst and the smell of fixer and where did I hang my films again?
The cheesy frames are a an attempt to imitate how my prints used to look in a previous life. Copied with only one mask in the negative carrier, leaving room for a black border around the photo. The attempt is not successful by the way, but the frames do remind me of this time long gone.
Then every other film was an HP5+, shot at ISO1600 and push–developed in one of the Ilfotecs, can’t remember which. Sometimes nice photos turned up on the contact sheets, it usually had more to do with light than anything else and I didn’t have a clue about light back then. Now I have something that resembles a clue about what makes light good and a much greater tolerance for when it’s bad. Sorry—dull, not bad. Except holes in the sky, which can under no circumstances be forgiven.
Now the HP5s have been replaced, mostly, by a tiny camera since many digital years ago. And the black border from the negative carrier is nowhere in sight, only its imitation.
And even stranger to have been stuck at home with something that resembles an old fashioned cold but these days, who knows?
At least I’m among the lucky ones with a computer and internet and some work that can be done.
Having been indoors for the last few days perhaps the days are stranger than I realize. The media perspective is only so accurate. Wonder how it all looks, I mean feels, when I get out again. Which will be soon, very soon, I hope.
That’s all. Stay healthy.
I honestly have no idea how the image above of the rooftops through the trees appears to others, who might have seen it, by coincidence or not. How could I? I just know that it brings back memories of one of my least elegant periods to date. Don’t think miserable would be an overstatement.
Some ok photographs happened though, during the misery, at least they feel right somehow. Almost as if they are tangible, carry a certain substance, something worthwhile, contrary to a lot of the images made since. A lot. In that sense I’m fond of it. Others too. Like the one overlooking the reservoir with the spruce trees in the background and the lone—what was it—birch? And a few more.
Then it’s interesting to note how the memory of where and when a particular image happened becomes a set of filters on top of it. How the image, a recording of a subject of certain shapes an colours, takes on the associations of the circumstances in which it happened. And time. How time makes it all sort of blurry and far away without managing to completely wash it off, the set of filters, whatever they might consist of. And that’s ok.
Observation: The 15mm Panny in a vertical position has a horizontal field of view not so unlike the 75mm on the Pentax, horizontally. Then, to imitate the comp while the film awaits processing, all I need to do is crop a 5×4 out of the vertical frame.
Why? Well, and this is a bad answer, the film hasn’t been processed.
As for metering light like this, it remains to be seen how the expired–for–more–than–a–decade–ago Astia takes it.
Stay tuned! (Actually, don’t)
In 2015 my family and I visited Stykkishólmur. I took some photographs. They didn’t turn out any good but one way or the other the place stuck with me. During the time between now and then, the images have somehow confirmed what seems to be the core of my photography; to provide comments on this and that, perspectives, answers perhaps, to questions that didn’t get asked at the time, questions that hadn’t yet reached the surface and possibly never would have hadn’t it been for the photos and their commentaries.
The order here is a bit messed up, but that’s all right. As long as there is movement, some movement.
And Stykkishólmur. In a restless kind of way I wanted to love the place. Restless, not as in not genuine, but hollow. Either way, at the same time I was terrified to risk it, whatever it was, enough to suffocate whatever might have happened hadn’t it been for the fear of reaching for, or out, or..
I do believe it is a lovely, lovable place though. For what it’s worth.
*Stykkishólmur is a village on the Snæfellsnes peninsula in West Iceland.
Random thoughts going through the mind:
At least we’re moving forward.
November already? Well..
Some of the six months since last time have been quite dry, in terms of lens based activities. Also, my favorite images these days are eight years old and not the ones that have appeared lately and since this is about recents I’ve adjusted the tag. And this was a terrible sentence.
And here’s a new years resolution, if a tad early. If nothing worth saying to say, shut up. Now may this post creep downwards in shame and forever be forgotten.
I used to always want to be the one with the Horseman 612, an expensive Sekonic, and a large bag full of 120s. It was probably more about the Horseman than what might have been produced with it. There never was one, a Horseman, and the only Sekonics in the household are the most affordable versions. Not that there is anything wrong with them, except that the one that needs a battery tends to eat it up fairly quickly. The bags however—fairly large ones, considering—are indeed half full of 120s, but exposed and unprocessed for the most part.
Not sure where this was supposed to go. I still wouldn’t mind the camera, although a 612 wouldn’t make much sense. But I must admit to rather liking the idea of having a camera called Horseman.
Then, there was the dead horse..
No, strike that.
I have an idea about what I’m looking at. And I do wonder what you are seeing.
Then there is the underlying element that if I communicate what I’m looking at it will influence what you see. And as much as I’d rather not—influence—there really isn’t any way around it, is there?
In 2011 I started photographing places where people live, from afar. I called them Homes, the images. Here is where I might choose to get into the details about the project, if the words were ready, but instead I will say that the one above might have made the cut had it been square, and taken from a slightly higher viewpoint. Might but probably wouldn’t, it doesn’t quite sit. I don’t miss it terribly, from Homes I mean, but nevertheless, a little fond of it.
So, homes, just not Homes, is what I’m looking at.
What might you be seeing?
Nothing is new under the sun. That’s all right.
Plus I have no idea where this is going, if anywhere. Also all right.
Rjukan is one of the places in Norway where I would like to live at some point.
It’s probably a fantasy, mostly. An illusion.
Picture: A village, in a narrow valley, in between steep mountains, with its history and all. And the lack of sun during the winter months, and mirrors to compensate. The kind of place that could become big on Instagram? (Not that I checked, perhaps it already is).
Not that this is an illusion, but I suspect the associations, ideas, the “oh how nice it would be to live there for a while”, are.
Arriving at the illusion has a certain charm though.
No, that’s impossible.
The journey towards the illusion has a certain charm though.
Approaching the illusion has,.. its thing..
Which reminds me of this book of photographs I seem to recall having, in one of the boxes I can’t remember where I placed. Approaching Nowhere, if I’m not mistaken. That’s not Rjukan, not nowhere. Far from it. The illusion is, though.
Or, what do I know? Having spent only enough time there to drink a cup of coffee and walk about with a tripod for an hour or so. In pouring rain.