Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Click above for a larger image
The is another image from the Chair Series, this time a lawn chair.
It was summer on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, not far from Chestertown. This spot was surrounded by miles of feed corn. Feed corn is the main cash crop in the area, and large agri-businesses will buy up farms to maximize the profit.
During the summer it can get dripping hot on the Shore. I lived in numerous houses there, and if they were outside of town they were surrounded by the corn fields. It always seemed like the fields trapped the humidity, and added their own. In the early morning a blue-ish haze would hang over them.
I had to un-stick myself from the plastic chair in order to set up the camera to get this shot.
I forgot to mention the local mosquitoes. Able to carry off small children! Large enough so their distinctive “whine” could be heard from a few feet away.
I attended college there, and lived and worked there, off an on, for some time after. From what I’ve said it might seem like I despised living there, but that was far from the truth. In fact, “me and the shore” went through the whole “nine yards”; luck and its opposite, plus, joy, desire, despair, and many revelations.
Photo: Tri-X, Taken with an old Speed Graphic on 4X5” sheet film.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Photograph – Folding Steel Office Chair
The uncomfortable folding chair, circa mid-80’s, pictured above, is a wonderful symbol for what work can be. It is functional, you can sit in it, but if you did eight hours a day, you’d end up at the doctor’s office.
If work isn’t at least marginally satisfying, you might end up at the psychiatrists.
A major portion of your time on this Earth will be spent at work. This is really something to consider. However, I didn’t. I studied philosophy in college. The job market for abstract thinkers that debate the existence of ashtrays and chairs is surprisingly shallow. Although, forgive me, for Philosophy is actually not only interesting, but strikingly absent in these times.
I stumbled/danced into photography, and then a few other related things. There were some tough times in transition. However, it worked out.
That not-so-inviting chair above is asking you to sit in it, and then you’ll be employed. Or “Careful where you put that ‘Thang’ down, ‘cause it may be there a while. . . “
Many more people worked on weekdays than on weekend days. About 83 percent of employed persons worked on an average weekday, compared with 33 percent on an average weekend day. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
An empty chair defines a negative space that should be occupied by a person. You could sit there. This is an office chair. You could end up sitting in one of these for a long time. It happened to me. This was the view from my office door until our “team” was relocated. I understand we are to get cubicles. Viewed from above, cubicles look like a maze.
And so it goes. I’ve taken quite a few pictures of empty chairs over the years. Why? I sometimes wonder myself. Perhaps it’s the feel of the space left behind, when a person isn’t in it. My favorite, a chair of mine located in a dense woods, is already on this blog here.
I’ll post a few more of the chair series over the next few weeks. . .
Photo details: Taken with an old Speed Graphic and a 90 mm Angulon Lens, on Tri-X 4”X5” sheet film.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Click on the image for a larger view . . .
I was looking through some envelopes that contained prints from my days of working as a news photographer, when out popped a 4”X5” Transparency, the one shown above.
Those were times characterized by “no furniture,” and other strictly defined boundaries. They were good times. As in this image, there was a lot of warmth.
I recalled an epiphany (sorry for the reference, I was raised Catholic) that involved a heater. The brand was called “Warm Morning.” One of our heaters was a city gas run “Warm Morning,” in Pittsfield, N. H. There was a large glass front with a long line of firebrick that became red with the flame from the gas. It was always worth a bit of unintentional meditation with coffee in hand.
Times can crossover in a thoroughly non-linear manner. Much later, I was sitting in the Charlottesville Bus Station on West Main Street, staring at the wall, waiting for the Bus that comes from Dulles Airport. There is an inset wall heater, and I found myself staring at the metal logo, “Warm Morning.” The heater itself seemed to separate itself from the background environment, and suddenly I was aware of myself, and I remembered basking in the light and heat of the Warm Morning in New Hampshire.