Monday, October 27, 2014

Following the Crowd

Canine BFF's
Harding Trail
Palenville, NY

The one who follows the crowd will usually
get no further than the crowd.
The one who walks alone, is likely
to find himself in places no one
has ever been.
Albert Einstein

It's never been been an interest of mine to follow anyone other than my own ideology. There's never been a wake moment spent on feeling that I needed to be exactly where someone else had been. That simply is not me. It doesn't make me a better person or less to stand in the same place where someone greater than or less than me stood.

The same holds true with my photography. My images are not meant to replicate what I've seen but rather to move you to feel in my own voice and style. As a view you draw your own private conclusions. Your conclusions are private rendered by your own set of experiences.

Mimicking is not a form of intelligence, a parrot mimics. We seldom think that uttering "pretty bird" makes the parrot a genius. So I choose not to go the obvious places to indulge in my art or to simply mimic another photographer's style. I choose my own template and voice and it continues to evolve with my skill set. My art is personal and not mean to follow someone else's convention or standard.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sanity Check

Platte Clove and Pool
Saugerties, NY
"Never put the key to your happiness
in somebody else's pocket."

For nearly a week, I observed autumn in the Catskills, a place to view a glimpse of sanity not far from an insane world. I know to well how easy it is to get caught up in the "reality" of modern day living only to lose focus about why I live.

Life is about a living and the quiet enjoyment of very simple needs. Our industrialization and commercialization prods and suggests just the opposite; that life is about acquisition and retention of those acquisitions. Our life is spent both acquiring and sustaining (financing) our acquisitions and life styles. We worry endlessly about elements we cannot control but are taught that we can mitigate all risks and must plan accordingly.

How can we possibly mitigate the obvious that no one leaves this earth alive? If you don't know how long you will be here, then it behooves you to enjoy today and plan accordingly. Today is what you know. Time is the only possession you actually own right now this moment.

Outdoors, visual cues remind me of the beautiful world formed by colors, shapes, smells, sounds, and textures. A life with meaning is sensual. To experience life, you must have a capacity and tolerance for seduction. Seduction requires choice and consent. The life worth living is an open and blatant seduction of the senses. Living requires a willingness to engage and envelop yourself in seduction. It goes beyond voyeurism; it requires a participation beyond awareness. Living requires the cognitive capacity to enjoy all life which surrounds you. While it's different for everyone, for me it's the pleasure derived while being outdoors composing new images and observing the living cinema called nature.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Around the Bend

Around the Bend
Palenville, NY

I'm staying in a town, a throwback of the way life use to be, where the women are handsome, trees beautiful, and roads romantic. The type of place where on autumn days the past time is watching golden feathery leaf flakes make their way to the adorning quilted landscape beneath stately maples. A town whose past is not forgotten but whose future is questionable, where strangers are encouraged to pass through and greeted with one word responses until folks know they are not just visiting.

Images and scenes from some Norman Rockwell painting I suppose: a general store, boy scouts, and quaint white wooden colonial home styles graced with white picket fences and with women inside who still might knit and sew, married to husbands who still know how to fix things.

The general store and deli not only still serve creme sodas but also carries things like organic agave and gluten free pancakes mixes for New York City refugees. For those transitioning pilgrims the deli serves bountiful reuben sandwiches and if its Friday you might get to order a chocolate croissant but hurry they go fast.

The pace is slow but the minds are sharp as artists and intellectuals collude and converse at small tables suitable for great gossip and tales. Not sure if I qualify as a guest, a stranger passing through, or if I am considered someone that they would trust or a person of interest.

Someone asked how long I've been in Palenville and I can respond long enough to know that important stuff is posted on telephone poles and that Alfie Beers ran for highway superintendent a few years back, and the footbridge across the Kaaterskill Creek was wiped out by Irene (hurricane), that Laurie the big lady that lives in a "bungalow" at the bottom of Woodlane has a rescued blue healer that had wandered for days before she was captured. Long enough to be to tell you that Pat at the Circle W (the general store) makes the best lentil and buttersquash acorn soups and to die for chocolate croissants but they are served only on Fridays and on Sundays. And of course, there's Bob, the retired color lab guy twice divorced who hangs out every morning at the general store. Then there's now me. Hoping to find inspiration in a place that has stood still for a while.

Can't wait for my morning to begin all over again. Look forward to new walks and hikes along rushing creeks shared only with a few accompanied dogs. Look forward to be accepted not as someone just passing through but as someone "living" here. There's a life I've forgotten about somewhere between success and job loss.