The Wrong time at the Right Place

Many years ago, I remember dreading taking this picture because up to this point, most of the pictures I had made were of a single woman. This was one of the first times I was called upon to make a strong picture of two women. I was now shooting a landscape with two figures placed in it. I saw this spot and placed the two figures into the landscape and immediately, to my surprise, it felt right. A foot in either direction and the whole picture would have fallen apart.

There is something about my relationship to them, their relationship to each other, as well as our relationship to the environment that feels wonderful and mysterious. This picture has always felt resolved, yet unresolved, with everything in the right place, everything in order, but even though all is well, nothing is answered. More questions are raised, and more issues unresolved.

I think the two figures lead you into this place. They are attractive, slightly sexy, and timeless. They appear to some as if from “The Last Year at Marienbad.” This picture, like many of the outdoor pictures I shoot, is made in a space that feel like an exterior room. I’ve often been told that my exteriors feel like interiors. I think this is correct. I think people do experience my exteriors as an interior spaces. I will explain why this is the case…

For most photographers, placing someone in front of something whether an icon or simply some exterior, unconsidered location is their idea of a portrait etc. This is not mine. The purpose of this picture, and many other of my images, is to know how to fit people into their environment, rather than haphazardly placing them in front of it. Having the figures within the space rather than in front of it, makes all the difference. You can tell how I feel about them from how I have placed them in their world. They are in it, not apart from it, yet it is still incomplete and begs you to inquire about their story.

Photographers must learn about themselves so they can learn to properly fit their subjects and themselves into a world they may fear or may not know. It is not my intention to stand outside or apart from life as a sociologist might, recording and viewing the world but not participating in it. Although in the non-photographic parts of my life, I do. I am always on the search, almost a quest for a certain place where I can be one. I think this appears in my photographs. The locations, as much as the pictures, tell of my yearnings for resolution both within the world and within myself.

As we end this year I keep wondering how I will fit into this brave new world. Am I in the right place at the wrong time? Or do I offer an entry, a vision, to a slightly more attractive and nicer place you may have forgotten exists where I can enter the world both as I see it and as I want the world to be.


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