Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Landscapes of the Soul

"The physical object, to me, is merely a stepping stone to an inner world where the object with the help of the subconscious drives and focuses perceptions, becomes transmuted into a symbol whose life is beyond the life of the objects we know." - Clarence J. Laughlin, Photographer (1905 - 1985)

For all those who've expressed, privately and publically, an interest in seeing some of my images in print - apart from my contest-winning Sudden Stillness book, to be published in short order by Envisage Press - I offer the following. A self-published collection of photos, entitled Landscapes of the Soul: Reflected Shadows of Self.

The book consists of four visual landscapes: Water Flow, Entropic Melodies, Spirit & Light, and Micro Worlds. Each offers an interpretation of spirit made manifest, and is introduced by a short essay. There are a total of 120 pages, 52 duotoned images, four essays and a short introduction.

Water flow shows glimpses of dynamic processes at work; though the processes themselves understandably remain hidden.

Entropic Melodies hints at the boundary between life and death. (A few images from this series appeared in a portfolio in issue #41 of Black and White Magazine.)

Spirit & light reveals the physical magnificence and splendor of sacred spaces, as created by human hands, though the spiritual object of devotion lies only in the heart of the observer. (Some of these images were featured in Lenswork Extended Edition #71 (July-August 2007)

Micro Worlds shows the extraordinary resplendent beauty that may be found even in abject banality, but only if the self recognizes that it is its own landscape of the soul. (These are taken from a growing series I'm still working on, and have previosuly featured in an on-line gallery.)

"To the vast majority of people a photograph is an image of something within their direct experience: a more-or-less factual reality. It is difficult for them to realize that the photograph can be the source of the experience, as well as the reflection of spiritual awareness of the world and of self." - Ansel Adams, Photographer (1902 - 1984)

My original intention for this project (when I started a few weeks ago) was to merely find an "easy" way to archive some of my work; for my own records. Indeed, I honestly wasn't expecting much by way of quality, although I grew increasingly intrigued by seeing references to the "quality of Blurb Books" on various forums and chat groups. Having my "test case" book in hand from this on-line publisher, I can now attest to its overall quality. Very impressive, actually.

Compared to the often less-than-stellar quality of books one sees even on the shelves at Borders, I have no qualms about offering the book for sale. While certainly not as good as fine-art prints (even the best books typically fall far short of that Holy Grail of course), nor even as good as the finest pigment-based ink jets I can produce for exhibits, the images in this volume stand on their own as beautiful book-form reproductions. Of course, the subject matter may not be to everyone's taste, nor the images themselves, but about that I have far less control;-)

For those who find my aesthetics pleasing, I am sure you would find this little collection of some of my recent images very enjoyable.


Howard Grill said...

I am very much looking forward to receiving my copy.

Jen said...

I found your photography today while browsing for inspiration. Absolutely breathtaking! I am married to a physicist at the University of MD (post doc) and was tickled to hear similarities in philosophies.

I will try not to ramble on - however, it is rare that I am so inspired & moved. I typically do portrait photography (just a shutterbug - nothing professional), but I have often been saddened by my lack of artistic eye when it comes to using nature as my subject. I am intrigued by nature's geometry but have no talent for capturing it. You certainly do! I feel like I could go on for hours but ultimately, for some cathartic reason, I have to tell you...

Years ago (20 to be exact) as a young teen, I lost my sister in a car accident. I found my solace in yoga with two wonderful instructors, (a married couple). For years they nurtured me more than any other humans I know. They believed in me when I was a high school drop out & single mother- they believed in me when I graduated with my master's degree & when I married the man of my dreams! Today, I received the news that Mike, the husband, has passed away. My heart is more than heavy.

All I can think about is grabbing my camera and spending time outside taking photos (though all the kids are asleep). Its as though these pictures could capture some beauty that would serve as a reflection of his life. However, my photos say "leaves" or "landscape" yours say "movement" and "breath". If for this one day I could channel your ability in order to honor Mike's wonderful soul - then I would not be nearly so sad. Phenomenal.

Please feel free to see me at my blog: ourmdfamily.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

from Turkey, my name is Cem, your portfolio at lens work excellent..