Blue Skies and Tailwinds
State Highway 487, Wyoming
After bucking too many gray winter skies and headwinds in the last few months (both literally and metaphorically) it’s nice to finally experience some blue skies and tailwinds (both literally and metaphorically). It probably takes someone with Kansas roots to think of photographing such a flat, empty landscape when there are so many mountains around. I find them very soothing, at least in the right dosage. We’ll see if I get my fill by the time I finish my visit to Wichita.
Here’s a song about going with the wind, courtesy of the Irish band The Pogues. If you need a little help translating from Irish english, the lyrics can be found here.
I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time, take a run-down defunct hotel on the corner of the two busiest streets in town and convert it into an upscale condominium complex. Then the real estate bubble burst. Now there is an empty defunct condominium complex on the corner of the two busiest streets in town.
I took this photo of the sun trying to burn through the fog as it came up over the ridge behind our house a couple of days ago as we were on the way out our front door headed to a cafe over in Livingston for our usual Sunday morning breakfast. The title is from a Kenny Loggins song. It’s an appropriate title, but not my favorite song so I won’t post a video of it or anything. Too bad we weren’t going out the back door instead of the front door. Then I could have posted this just as happy but less sappy song from roughly the same era:
Quite a ways south of here, I hear Bradford Pear trees are inundating neighborhoods with springtime boughs heavy with white blossoms and covering the ground with windblown drifts of petals. Here in the Rockies, we’re still getting the same old white blossoms and drifts we’ve been seeing all winter. At least ours don’t smell (although it really stinks to wake up in the morning to see yet another snowstorm in progress).
My cousin sent me this video. It has nothing to do with photography but it so made my day I had to post it just in case it might do the same for someone else. If this is (as Lawrence Welk calls it) a modern spiritual, I want to join that church!
There’s a lot of really bad art-speak out there and I usually just ignore it, not wanting to make light of someone’s serious effort to, well, sound serious. But it’s 3:00 a.m. and I can’t sleep and it’s put me in an ornery mood so I’m posting this description of an upcoming photography exhibit at a well-known venue that will remain nameless. I’ve also changed the name of the photographer because I don’t want to denigrate any specific person, just this strange genre of writing that is far too common. Otherwise though, it is a direct quote:
Traditionally, photographs are thought of as mechanisms, which we use to capture or make visible a moment in time, creating a moment in an experience that becomes static, held as a marker of that experience. Essentially photography assists us in representing and/or communicating, our understanding of reality and experience. These images, caught in a single moment in time, open a doorway that allows the viewer to travel into the experience. The really great photographs transcend the moment captured and evoke a response that allows any of us the possibility to glimpse some insight into the mysteries that life holds. Smith’s intention as a photographer is to make visible those aspects of our multi-faceted lives that include some of the mysteries that are often hidden to our eyes.
His work as an artist leaves non-linear traces and examples of his memories, thoughts and experiences. Smith’s approach collapses the linear sequence that our cognitive mind perceives as time, attempting in some small way to capture both the depth and richness of these experiences that make up a single life. Like other artists, this body of work reflects the offering made to invite the viewer to explore the complexities of reality, not simply as he might understand that, but as it speaks to, challenges or informs how you might understand that.
Most of this come across as nonsense to me, a randomly arranged sequence of buzz words and catch phrases tenuously strung together with questionable grammar. Here’s the sum total of what I learned from reading this exhibit description: this photographer takes photos. If you are more versed in art-speak than I am, perhaps you can provide a more detailed translation into common English.