it’s the softer side of selfie.
i take many photographs of us in shadow. it lowers the how-do-i-look bar to practically zero. though it does leave me a tad bit curious about why my head always looks bigger than his. i think it’s my hair poofing out; his is pulled back neatly, while mine is helter-skelter flying in the wind. nevertheless, whether we are smiling or not, whether our eyes are open or closed, whether we have a funny look on our faces – none of this matters.
some of my favorite shots of us are in shadow. we are on the dock at northport harbor. we are on trail in breckenridge. we are at the john denver sanctuary in aspen. we are on a frozen lake up-north. we are walking barefoot in florida, carrying our flipflops. we are in the sun on our back patio.
i know i might be accused of over-documenting. so many photos. “1.81 trillion photos are taken worldwide every year, which equals 57,246 per second, or 5.0 billion per day,” according to photutorial.com. at least they are not all mine.
yet i know that it takes many, many shots to get the right one. my dear friend scott is a world-class photographer with a compositional eye to die for. he shoots thousands of shots at a-list events. which makes me feel justified in my overshooting. i have loved being behind a camera since my parents gifted me my first 35mm when i graduated high school. crunch and i would go out and about for hours on end, on escapades, taking pictures and dreaming of what they would look like developed. the advent of cellphone cameras – as they are today – makes it infinitely easier to snap, snap and over-snap. and, though i can confess to that, i will not stop.
because every now and then, when i go through all the photographs i’ve taken on a hike or at home or traveling or with one of my children, i find a jewel. like the lyrics that are tucked into notebooks-upon-notebooks, scraps of paper of melodies, pa pads with ideas for smackdab cartoons and blogposts, sometimes something special turns up. “practice makes perfect,” my sweet poppo would always quip.
so, the other day, while we were hanging out with richard diebenkorn, i thought i would document our time together. not a gem of a shot, but – truly – they aren’t always gems. sometimes they are just reminders of time spent, thready mementos of moments, scraps of lyrics or color samples or heart rocks. they are a diary of time, back and forward, threaded clockwise and reverse.
despite the vast ponderings of art critics and pedantic curators, it would seem that richard might just be trying to create mood, evoke emotion. this ocean park painting – like the whole series – depicting shimmering light and air, his extended time in santa monica sun. he painted and re-painted 145 canvases in this series. a diary of time.
selfies and shadows, smiles and light. all stuff that counts on the way to 1.81 trillion.
read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY