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Visual Anthropology

Portrait as Symbol

Intimate Nature

Click on one of the images to go to that section of the gallery

VISUAL ANTHROPOLOGY. Images of what we humans build, plant, and do. The tension is always between what it is (and how I feel about it) and what it looks like. Photographs of well known places are included, like the Abbaye de Senanque, near Gordes, France, shown above. There are others that do not give their locations away so easily. Why did I stop at a particular place to photograph? Shall I try to "show the thing" or use my camera to look for a satisfying image? Will it be documentation or art?

PORTRAIT AS SYMBOL. Portraits are pictures of people who know they are being photographed. Stolen images are something else. My concept of the portrait is that of a symbol. I want to go beyond attempting to show what a person looked like at a moment in time. Most will conclude that soccer must be significant to Peter in some way, and have some reaction to the movement and his direct gaze. You'd likely not know about any importance attached to the well used shirt. A life story can not be told in a single image, but a little about a life can be, along with suggestions about our feelings. Simple is good. A portrait can not be about many things at once.

INTIMATE NATURE. Most of us are familiar with the grand landscapes and colorful closeup images of flowers generally associated with nature photography. Ansel Adams's vistas of the American West are known to almost everyone, and they are magnificent. There are also, all around us, much smaller views that are accessible, beautiful, and usually not noticed. I have been attracted to small views for a very long time, primarily because they are so available. They exist beside country roads, in the back yard, along woodland trails, and on vacant lots in the city. One can stop and look and find them almost anywhere, although it is frequently helpful to be on the hands and knees! The image results from looking with the camera, including and excluding until it appears. The one above is a six inch waterfall near my home.