These days the sun is always finding me. Or is it the other way around? It really hard to say sometimes. Walking on a path in the woods I have to constantly put the brakes on to my purposeful striding - stop, look, take a photo, ( physically and mentally), then smile and march on. “March” seems like a hard word to use, but paired with Soldier of Light it sounds appropriate. It is not just looking at and enjoying the light, but being able to convey it to others. Sometimes when I am watching the movement of the sun crossing the forest or raking across the metallic buildings in the city, I look around and it seems as if most people don’t notice it. Even when I am in a hurry I HAVE TO stop. I WANT TO stop. Who sees who? Who sees what?
In the fall, the setting of the sun is short and sweet, to the point of being made into a well-know Japanese metaphor:
Aki no yuu hi, tsurebe otoshi
“The fall sun sets as a bucket falling into a well”
Makes me wonder if there is an opposite version for a spring season, long-lasting sunset. The other day I was driving east towards home down the two-lane highway known as Nagasa Kaido (translated loosely as “The Long and Winding Road”). A red sunset ball in my rearview mirror seemed to hang there forever, like one of those red laser-pointer dots, following my actions, appearing as red catch lights on unsuspecting house windows and shimmering across water filled spring paddies. So here is my metaphor in the form of a haiku.
Floats on the horizon
A balloon on fire.
Haru no yuu hi, suiheisen de ukabu, moeru fusen
For two days in a row I found myself in the forest, facing the setting sun as it moved in slow motion towards the end of its day, filling me with the coincidental wonder of being in the right place at the right time.
A self-portrait taken while teaching a pinhole photography workshop on the Boso Peninsula coast, Kamogawa. A cloudy day and a two minute exposure time. I decided to take a quick nap.
Retreat to the darkroom
Looking for the light
fuyu arashi, anshitsu de komoru, hikari sagashi
Very cold today with snow and wind...
Hadn't printed in the darkroom in a long time, so today I finally made some new proof prints. Away from the computer, the slow world of analog.
A tree moves and grows in two directions yet oddly it doesn’t go anywhere. The roots go down deep or at the very least spread out horizontally at varying degrees of depth, climbing, spreading, growing underground. But the other half goes up and out, touching the environment in a different way. Its easy to see why this is so symbolical for me. A tree is effecting the earth; while not physically moving, it is growing and contributing something to the world even though to the naked eye it is standing still. And that is the attraction and realization for me and others to my photo "Reflections of Self". A personal, yet universal self portrait.....