Grasp The Moment Photography

Woman In The Grass

Andrew Wyeth passed away this morning at the age of 91.

Growing up, my parents had a copy of his painting, “Christina’s World”, hanging on the dinning room wall. Sitting here, I couldn’t even begin to count the number of meals I had looking at that painting. If I close my eyes, I can see every detail, the wagon wheel tracks leading from the house, the decaying barn, and the part that always held my attention the most, the part which I most often wondered about; the fact that Christina is in the tall grass, not the patch of mowed grass just a few feet away. I often wondered if she chose that area, if she was more comfortable amongst the weeds than the softer surface where she could have been placed.

Wyeth presented that scene and told the viewer nothing more about it. Christina’s back is turned, her face is not in the painting, so all you see is all you know. As I got older in life, I learned more about that painting, more about Christina Olsen, and more about the entire series Wyeth did on the Olsen family. What I learned, the details, changed the way I looked at the painting, and unfortunately it became hard for me to look at that painting the same way I did when I was a younger.

I’m not going to tell you anymore about the painting, if you’ve found this blog, then I’m sure you know how to google. If you’re curious, I’m sure you can find the whole story.

Or, you can take what Wyeth gave you and live in that second. You can stand still, hearing the breeze in the grass. You can gaze at the barn, the house and the wagon wheel tracks, and of course, at Christina. You can know as much about her as every person you see from behind, passing on the street, glimpsing in the next subway car, or ahead of you on the check out line. Draw your own conclusions, complete the story in your mind, who’s to tell you you are wrong?

“Christina’s World” and what I’ve learned about it was the sole reason I was against starting this blog in the first place. Now please – I am by no means comparing myself to Andrew Wyeth – but I always thought, and still feel that art is to be interpreted by the viewer. Who I am to tell you what you are supposed to see in a photograph I have taken?

My favorite pastime is talking to people about my photos. I know that’s probably the most conceited sounding thing ever, but it’s not meant to be. Nothing fascinates more than hearing what others see, I could give a crap less about the “It’s great.” or “You’re so good.”, those comments churn my stomach. Do you like it? Yes? Why? What do you see in it? I love the answers – and more often than not I am shown something even I didn’t see. I wonder if Wyeth ever felt that way.

So I’ll keep blogging, and keep sharing, and please, keep commenting. Actually, it’s what keeps me going in the first place.

Well… I’ve painted myself in a bit of a corner, so to speak. This is supposed to be a photo blog, not a yappity yap blog, and now I’m not sure what photos go with what I’ve been yappity yapping about. So I’ll do something I’ve been resisting the urge to do for awhile. I’ll share with you the photos I’ve taken, that I like. My favorites. The “OMG, I took that?” shots.

Here are a few, I’ve got more on Flickr if you’d like to see.

(in no order)

Autism

20070508-DSC_8271-E

Community Log

Grateful Fred

Birdhouses

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10 responses

  1. Peg

    Love your photos because they ARE thought provoking!

    January 16, 2009 at 3:25 pm

  2. Hey stumbled across your blog from blog networks on facebook. I find myself occasionally looking through the blogs that pop up but rarely find one of any interest. Your wiritng and photos however caught my attention and do plan to follow this in the future. Good job!

    If you are so interested I am at http://www.fiftypercentchanceofrain.com

    January 16, 2009 at 3:26 pm

  3. Not sure if I typed the above in correct…I’ll see when it posts 🙂
    My point…pure honesty my friend! I love to hear your thoughts about your images, as well as your take on others. Thanks for sharing.

    January 16, 2009 at 7:40 pm

  4. julielawsonphotography

    Simply awesome Brian. You have a knack for writing as well as taking pictures. I think it’s good for us to show the world a little bit of what’s in our hearts. It’s was makes us “real”. Does that make sense?

    Anyway…I remember that first photograph from the forum and the story behind it. That one speaks volumes.

    #3 is fantastic!! Crisp colors (which i adore) and the light seems to highlight the subjects. That one rocks my world.

    #4 makes me sad. She looks sad, tired and in need of rest. Great capture

    #5 I just love the birdhouses.

    You are a true artist my friend….keep it up.

    😀

    January 17, 2009 at 6:46 am

  5. John (Dad)

    Regarding the Wyeth painting. The point that has always gotte me was the birds – swallos I guess – flying from the barn. Or are they flying to it? Who or what startled them?

    Great blog. I look forward to reading every one you write. Keep ’em coming,

    January 17, 2009 at 12:11 pm

  6. suehenryphotography

    “My favorite pastime is talking to people about my photos. I know that’s probably the most conceited sounding thing ever, but it’s not meant to be. Nothing fascinates more than hearing what others see, I could give a crap less about the “It’s great.” or “You’re so good.”, those comments churn my stomach. Do you like it? Yes? Why? What do you see in it? I love the answers – and more often than not I am shown something even I didn’t see. I wonder if Wyeth ever felt that way.”

    This paragraph I found very interesting; finding so much I personally could relate to in it. It IS fascinating to hear what others have to say about one’s work and it ITS interesting what different people see and feel.

    The work of yours that give me the most pause are those of your New York street photography. You have a way of capturing a look, an expression, or a fleeting moment that tells an entire story in one frame. The images, when paired with your gift of story telling….well, truly magic.

    Additionally, the manner in which many of your images are processed frequently add so much “soul” to what might otherwise be an ordinary photo.

    You need to submit some of your images and blog entries to a magazine I recently discovered — “Life Images” by Somerset. I’m not sure if they “pay” for the images/articles they feature, but being published in a publication of that nature might open some doors. Food for thought……

    January 17, 2009 at 12:21 pm

  7. Jenn

    That first image is the perfect pair to this blog.
    And the expression you’ve captured on Fred’s face is almost unreal-
    You have an incredible gift for timing, my dear!
    You’ve really brought home the feeling of solitude in the church photo, a little sad even.
    And you know how big a fan I am of your nature shots. Your colors are, as usual, outstanding. Your perspective and composure, very impressive.

    I don’t know what to say about the blog, itself- I’m kind of blown away by it.
    Your words really get a person thinking in all different perspectives, and I’m finding them pretty difficult to sort out. Mission accomplished I guess….
    LOL!

    Another blog that will stay with me indefinately.
    Keep them comming, I look forward to every one! 🙂

    ~Namaste~

    January 18, 2009 at 2:03 pm

  8. You know me I am a “people watcher” so I am drawn to the 1st shot and the 2nd to last. I really like the eyes on the tatted lady…the interpretation of what they’re saying can be so many different things.

    January 18, 2009 at 7:23 pm

  9. Man, I love the colors in the duck and turtle photo, and I really like the…for lack of a better description, granola girl portrait. It feels as if she’s looking with no inhibitions, and expecting only acceptance in return.

    January 19, 2009 at 12:25 am

  10. StKev

    FRED!

    January 19, 2009 at 11:20 pm

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