May 17, 2004

Why the Orange Suit? & Photographers I Have Met

Back in the mid 80's while living in Albuqueruqe, New Mexico
I enjoyed browsing through 'Vintage Clothing' stores.
One day, while browsing, I pulled from the rack a Orange and
Green Paisley suit. It was tacky, but I liked tacky. It was also brand
new and cost only $35. I bought it along with a matching
tacky shirt that I found. I have always had a 'dry' sense of humor
and wearing this suit was perfect for me.

Looking back, this suit, to me, represented a side of me
that now seems like only a memory. I think I am still in touch
with my same sense of humor, but with the hard lessons of life
the suit does not come out very often. I desire to bring back
the laughter and fun/dry personality that I identified myself
with.

The Orange Suit represents a time when I would take more
chances. Creatively.... Friends gave support to my efforts.
Now 'friends' seem so far away.

Not many people know that I really enjoy making people
laugh. I enjoy doing photography not for the money, but
for a smile it brings to someone or knowing that it created
a good moment in their life that otherwise would not have been.

I photograph most every day. You should see the stack of
new images that have been created. A few are seen on
my web site but most of the new ones are awaiting matts
and frames. Only seen by a few.

Yesterday I found the web site of David Michael Kennedy,
a photographer who has been living in Cerrillos, New Mexico, just
outside of Santa Fe. He sold his home and most of his possesions
and has been traveling across the country 'Living Life and Photographing.'
Very Cool.....

I have been very fortunate in life to meet some of the really
great photographers. I was with Ansel Adams in his darkroom
as he discussed his work. Another day on Weston Beach at
Point Lobos and suddenly he saw a new rock formation which
he had to photograph at that very moment.
What a moment, his concentration focused on the rocks
and camera, it was if nothing else existed. I am sure he had
been there more than a thousand other times.
Another memory was listening to Ansel talk about that
Halloween when he was returning from Taos, New Mexico
passing through the village of Hernandez. What he
saw and felt as he only had the time for one exposure
to capture perhaps his most well known photograph,
'Moonrise Over Hernandez.' The village of Hernandez looks
quite different today. It's never too late. Never give up.

I remember a wonderful memory of going to lunch with Edmund Teske
and then as we were returning to his studio/residence he stopped to
pick a white smashed cup off the sidewalk. He then said we must go
back to his studio to view some of his photographs. I must say they
were extrordinary duotone solorized prints (In 1953, Teske devised
the technique of duotone solarization)
mostly of small smashed
objects that he found on the ground in his Hollywood, California
neighborhood. I learned then to look deeper into the World, seeing the overlooked.

I remember Walking around the harbor in Monterey, California
photographing with Ralph Gibson and later that year in
Orlando, Florida where I inviting him to teach a workshop
at the art center where I was teaching photography. One day I
was standing in a used book store with Ralph and I know we
saw the same book close to the same time but he was quicker.
Like a lightning bolt he grabbed the book before I could react.
It turned out to be a 1st edition of
"The Decisive Moment", by Henri Cartier-Bresson. This was 1978
and he said he could sell it in New York for $125, in Orlando he paid $5.
Today they are selling from $72 to $3600. Certainly a lesson of the
quick reaction time of a Great Street Photographer.
Don't listen to the critics, they don' t exist.

Edward Weston was an inspiration to me. In 1978, while attending an
Ansel Adams Workshop in Carmel, California, I Called Neil Weston,
(Edwards son), and asked if I could visit Edwards home on Wildcat Hill.
He said "Yes", gave directions and upon my arrival Neil conducted
a personal tour of his Father's, (Edward Weston), cabin on Wildcat Hill.
Neil opened some cabinets and on the ends of the shelves were initials
in pencil, (D.V., P.L., etc.) meaning his prints of Death Valley, Point Lobos
had been kept there. Another memory of the visit was the cat door by the
front door. A rope was attached to the cat door, running to the ceiling,
across the room into the bedroom attached to the bed post. The door
could be raised from the comfort of the bed to allow the cats passage.
It was still there after all the years.
Many years later I was fortunate to meet Brett Weston, Cole Weston,
Charis Wilson (Edwards former wife and subject of so many of his 'great' photographs),
and Beaumont Newhall in Santa Fe. I was able to photograph them
as a group.

There are memories of spending an afternoon with Paul Caponigro viewing
his work at his studio outside of Santa Fe.

I was lucky enough to be invited to the home of Edna Bullock
as she showed & talked about her husbands, Wynn Bullock,
photography. What a wonderful afternoon.

In 1978 while visiting a friend in Santa Fe, New Mexico I was fortunate
enough to spend an afternoon with Laura Gilpin in her home which
was located just off Canyon Road. Upon entering her adobe home I
was told that a PBS production crew was working on a documentary
of her life. They asked if I would let them interview me and reluctantly
I said "yes." I have not seen the documentary but a friend said they
did include me in the finished piece. It seems the night before my visit
Laura Gilpin heard someone trying to break into her home. She grabbed
her walking cane, saw the prowler climbing through an open window and
whacked him over the head knocking him out 'cold.' Very cool,
an 88 year old taking care of business. She called the police and the
intruder was arrested, or maybe rescued.

More Later........


A bit More here.

Posted by Marcus at 05:50 PM