All That Remains
I wanted to start the blog off with one of my all time favorite photographs. This photograph has a lot of back story - and a lot of meaning for me. It also forecasts a lot of what I want my new year to be about - remembering the past, marking the moment, using the right combination of persistence and luck to take something of impact and let it truly shine and, most importantly, moving forward into the future, turning full face into the rising sun.
Remembering the past and marking the moment: "All that Remains." So called because this dilapidated building was once someone's home and now, as seen in this image, is abandoned and derelict. The year after I took the photograph the building collapsed, returning to the elements that once formed its structure. And while I often have trouble coming up with interesting and telling titles for photographs, I had no problems with this one. Sometimes they just come - and when they do I know the image is magical. But rather than being sad that the building is gone, I can remember that I was there to capture the story - a story that can and will be retold for many years to come. Gone but not forgotten.
Persistence vs luck: I often joke about how good photographs come when the sun, moon and stars are aligned properly in the heavens and luck is on your side. And while I say this tongue in cheek, it's really kind of true. In this case especially. This image, the realization of a picture that had been running through my head for many years, was the result of the perfect moment captured after going every few months, without fail, to this location - at sunrise and sunset, in various seasons and climates - with disappointing results. This time everything aligned to show the essence of the season - tilled fields waiting for spring planting, the quality of the light at sunrise, the mist burning off of the NC morning - and became an impactful image that lived up to its worth (The Center for Fine Art Photography recognized it as a print worthy image and published it in one of their quarterly magazines as well as requesting the framed image for a temporary exhibit at the Denver International Airport where it exhibited for 3 months).
Moving forward into the future: interestingly (tellingly) this image was one of the first I created with a digital camera. I began my "professional" training using a Nikon N80 and fuji slide film but about a year or so after I really started learning to use it, Nikon came out with the D200 - the first affordable (for me) digital camera. I knew that digital would (rock my world) advance my learning because I'd be able to see my mistakes and correct them immediately, rather than waiting for the slides to come back and trying to remember what I did wrong. And to this day I have no regrets about leaving film for digital. I use film as a more creative medium now - for experimenting (a la the Holga camera) and for nostalgia. But I kept my understanding of how it worked and applied what I could to the digital era.
So, as with most of my favorite images, this one tells a story. Of where I've been. Of where I'm going. And of the importance of journey. Not a bad way to start the new year.