Greetings from the Church of Eternal Naïveté

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!

POTD: Window Abstract #2

Window Abstract #2
Wilsall, Montana
2011

Here’s another image from the little series on thegrain elevator in Wilsall that I had going before all that hospital business interrupted my photographic train of thought.

How to Say Nothing Poorly

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.

Patriot’s Dream #15

Patriot’s Dream #15
Pony, Montana
2011

Maybe this is stretch for the flag series I’m working on, but those posts in front of the hitching rail are painted in a red, white, and blue flag motif.

POTD: Last Year’s Harvest

Last Year’s Harvest
Bozeman, Montana
2011

I haven’t gone the pictorialist route with any photos in a while. This shot of wheat stumble from last year’s harvest has kind of an Andrew Wyeth look to it.

POTD: Let It Be #5

Let It Be #5
Bozeman, Montana
2011

One last shot from the hospital, and I hope I don’t get any more opportunities to shoot there for a long time–let it be, indeed.

POTD: Let It Be #4

Let It Be #4
Bozeman, Montana
2011

This is one of those dome-shaped mirrors they mount on the ceiling so that you can see around corners in hallways in order to avoid collisions. Not much chance of a collision when I was there though. Or maybe it’s actually a one-way mirror concealing a camera, in which case there was probably some security guard watching and wondering what that guy was doing wandering up and down the hallway taking photos of everything and otherwise casing the joint. I kind of wish a security guard had shown up and questioned me; I could have used the diversion.

POTD: Let It Be #3

Let It Be #3
Bozeman, Montana
2011

While I was wandering the halls in the hospital someone turned the lights out in the waiting room so it was quite dark in there when I got back. This is the kids playroom in the waiting area. In retrospect while it would have been nice to not have been the only one there, I’m glad there weren’t a lot of rambunctious kids around. The commotion kids sometimes make would have taken my mind off of other things, but not in a good way.

POTD: Let It Be #2

Let It Be #2
Bozeman, Montana
2011

Everyone and his dog (literally) seemed to be leaving the hospital while I sat in the empty waiting room. I had thought this guy was just walking past the hospital but he came out of the building and got in a truck with his dog and drove away. I wondered if it was either a companion dog or one of those dogs trained to go to hospitals etc. to provide comfort to patients. Not a bad idea, I could have used a taste of that canine elixir myself at the time.

POTD: Let It Be #1

Let It Be #1
Bozeman, Montana
2011

Suppose your spouse (or significant other or parent or just someone you care for a great deal) has been in surgery for almost ten hours and the doctors told you it would only take five and they haven’t told you much of anything since the surgery started except everything was “fine” and it has been two hours since anyone has said anything to you at all and in fact all the visible hospital employees are leaving the building and come eight in the evening you’re still waiting, the only person in a large, empty room and it’s gray and dreary out, and it’s starting to snow and getting dark. How would you maintain your vigil, allowing yourself legitimate concern but occupying yourself to keep your imagination from taking your mind to places you don’t want to go? What calming techniques would you use? In my case, I went to my car and grabbed a camera and starting taking photos from the waiting area. Did it work? To a degree yes. This story had a happy ending–everything came out fine, and now I have a short series of photos from that evening to share over the next few days.

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