Sunday, January 6, 2013

simultaneous contrast

...every color tends to tinge the space next to it with its complementary color
Such a strong desire for color. The world here so relentlessly white. But there is sun, lots of it, and the prospect of days warming up a little this week. This is a good thing since early morning temperatures have been reported at -32 and -17! But the sun is, miraculously, warm! Always the warm sun. I'm not an outdoor person - even in pursuit of photographs. You won't find me hiking in the snowy woods or shushing down a mountainside in January. But everything is around me already.
When I pay attention, there is much to see. Even if I've photographed or written about it before, it's new again. When I face a blank page in my notebook I can fill it by observing what is within my vision and that will lead me somewhere else. Everything is a sketchbook. The green yarn I use today to knit a sock will remind me six months from now that I knitted it on a January day when I longed for spring and the sun tricked me into believing that it wasn't deadly cold outside. And if I give those socks to someone else, will what I thought about be passed along in the stitches? Who can say. For a half hour snow and ice make singular patterns on the deck, gone now. I don't remember that sepia light. At this time of year the landscape seems to reform itself every other minute.
We cannot do our story over again...perceive reality, almost simultaneously recording it in the sketchbook which is our camera...
As a sketchbook, my pictures won't be photoshopped or enhanced - if there are imperfections it's because my world is imperfect...but compelling...shadows on the wall of the hair salon...or the geranium blooming vividly against the glass as if to brazenly contradict the season...
...photographers deal in things that are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished, there is no contrivance on earth that can make them come back again....what is gone is gone forever.

All quotes are from Henri Cartier-Bresson, "master of the instant". Another of my enduring heroes of camera and notebook.

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