Today I’m going to depart from my usual topics in order to talk about and show you some photographic artwork I’ve been working on. I’m including a digital image, plus the same print under two different lighting conditions.
The photograph, or artwork, that I’m showing you in this post belongs to a specific project I began about a year and a half ago. The piece is called Autumn Sky 0A01. It’s part of a large, ongoing project employing a specific type of experimental photography. I’ve finally arrived at the point where I can begin making making some pieces available as prints. Autumn Sky 0A01 is the first to be available as a print.
With respect to prints, I plan to release approximately one piece per season for the foreseeable future.
Autumn Sky 0A01 is an image I really enjoy, and it seems perfect to release in October. In fact I realized not long ago that I had begun mentally referring to it as “October Sky,” and it really is an October sky. To be specific, it’s an October sky from last year, that is, from 2022.
We had an amazing October last year. The color show lasted a long time. And we had a good number of days that were at the same time sunny, breezy, and cool, with the autumn colors in full swing. That’s one thing I remember from last year: the movements of those leafy, colorful boughs against the sky. (Although having said that, I immediately wonder if it isn’t something I remember from most autumns? Maybe so, maybe not.)
Concerning this particular image, one thing that strikes me about it is a sense of time. Of persistence across time, but also change and variation, and return as well. Partly this comes from the movement it portrays, expresses, and captures. There’s a kind of overall sense of movement expressed perhaps just from the look of it, from the lines and so forth. There’s also a movement from the blurring effects; this is perhaps movement in a more literal way. And then there’s the evocation of time and movement from where you find the same branch, for example, in slightly different places.
That last element expressing time — the multiple exposure elements of the image — also evokes a sense of multiplicity of perspectives. I don’t mean perspectives as in opinions, but more literally: specific visual perspectives on the same subject, and by implication, multiple physical locations with respect to the person viewing the subject. From this there’s a sense of many different realities, actual or potential, that the same subject exists in and through.
That in turn may even hint at, well, not just this particular scene, tree, perspective, viewer, viewing place, or time, but perhaps even autumn sky “as such.” Not as an exemplar (a defining example) or as a specific defining feature, but through beginning to visually-aesthetically suggest all autumn colorful-boughs-against-skies. The scholar and essayist Francois Jullien writes of something like this in his book In Praise of Blandness, although it is with respect to more minimal and “bland,” and of course far, far superior, artworks.
Lastly, to me there is something spiritually expressive and evocative in this image. I really don’t know how to explain what I feel or mean here. I don’t quite know what to point to in the image, either. But I do at least want to mention it. I feel it’s an important part of what makes this Autumn Sky piece more than merely decorative, although it’s definitely, and quite intentionally, decorative as well.
As I mentioned, the release of this piece as photographic prints initiates a new phase of a project I’ve been working on for some time. I’ve opened an Etsy shop to be my primary means of selling these bordered prints. At present, the orders from this Etsy online storefront only ship within the United States. Orders to locations outside the United States will still be possible but for the time being, I’m using a different service for those orders. Specifically, I’m using the print-on-demand company RedBubble for “international” (outside the U.S.) orders. The main downside is that RedBubble offers photographic prints only without borders, so for now international orders will have to make do with the more common, borderless style of photographic print.
SeekerFive creates expressive photographic artwork, and has opened a new Etsy shop.