It is with immense joy, exuberance and barely containable enthusiasm that I launch
Lens Upon the Clouds. Thank you for visiting!
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My interest in photographing clouds has arisen out of another photographic project that will eventually be presented as a blog: Voices of Winter. That project focused on the symbols, patterns and artifacts of the Winter season as it unfolded around my home in Woodstock, NY in the majestic Hudson Valley. My camera was tuned to the landscape and especially the graphics of ice and snow which were my main focus. But it soon became necessary to open up the field of view to frame broader imagery of the landscape: trees, meadow grasses, frozen expanses of Earth, distant mountains and sky.
Clouds, of course, became notable players in the landscape compositions. I began to contemplate more carefully their shape-shifting character when I asked myself the question: “Are there specific cloud forms endemic to Winter?” It didn’t seem so, as my memory held instances of all cloud forms appearing throughout all seasons. That being the apparent case, I decided not to include compositions in my Voices of Winter exposition that did not in some small manner reference the clouds to trees or other objects in the landscape, as I wished to be sure each image was “tagged” Winter.
The awareness of the vast array of “fractal” forms and relationships evident in the
Winter landscape further accentuated the fact that clouds are perhaps the most readily recognizable of Mother Nature’s fractal forms, as they shape-shift constantly revealing their self-similarities that no sooner are recognized that they disappear. This musing about clouds during my Winter photographic project led to further inquiry as Spring unfolded, and now Summer is on display.
Recently, I decided to begin a separate, deeper photographic inquiry into clouds as
my other Cycles-of-the-Seasons photographic projects unfold.
Lens Upon the Clouds will present the most noteworthy photographic imagery
of Clouds that flows through my lens along with journal entries and various and sundry musings related to the continuous celebration of beauty going on above our heads.
All we need to do is look up.
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n o t e s
A sister-blog, Synchro-Photo is unfolding in tandem with Lens Upon the Clouds,
and may in certain instances share images and commentary.
My personal take on “Equivalence” and Clouds:
I make it clear elsewhere that I owe a great debt to Minor White for the inspiration
that I have derived from his work and the influence his being had upon me as a student
at MIT during my matriculation there, 1967-1971. Aficionados of White know that he expounded a variation of the “Equivalence” approach initially propounded by the Alfred Steiglitz during the 1920s.
Steiglitz broke with the pictorial / literalist traditions creating something of a stir
in the art world with a series of Cloudscapes that he captured and exhibited as “Equivalents.” Steiglitz claimed those cloud photographs were something like “journal markers” of his current psychological state at the point of their capture, thus the term “Equivalent.”
Minor White came along in the 1950s and further expanded on Steiglitz’s theory in an effort to share his personal approach to the photographic process with others – one that was intensely meditation-based and pointedly elucidated a conscious relationship with the mystical dimensions of human consciousness.
I share these comments as I openly espouse using the camera to probe regions of my personal Unconscious and, dare I say?, regions of my Soul. That said, my photography
of Clouds claims no relationship to Steiglitz’s claims or his theories.
I find his claims somewhat amusing at best, as “any” passionate photographic focus
on “any”subject theme will reveal something about the character of the photographer.
I believe Steiglitz’s greatest contribution with his Cloud Equivalents was to prefigure the yet to unfold field of Depth Psychology as ushered in later by Dr. Carl Jung and his followers. What Steiglitz did accomplish, however, was to demonstrate that the then fledgling art-medium of photography had ties to the field of Human Psychology.
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When I aim my camera toward the sky, I aim to record the wonders and beauty of that fractal shapeshifting playground of the Imagination and little more.
Elsewhere, as in Synchro-Photo and other web-based offerings to come, I shall unabashedly reveal my conscious application of aspects of the Equivalence concepts of Minor White that I have made my own and explain an approach to utilizing the camera as Inner Work and Myth-Making tool.
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