Innards: A Portfolio
This ongoing portfolio contains finished pieces not works in progress. It is my examination of the landscape surrounding me whether urban or in nature. Long exposures, the landscape as subject, a pinhole rather than a lens and film rather than digital are all common factors in these images . Exposure times range from 30 minutes to several hours , sometimes overnight. All images record several minutes in time and sometimes people are recognizable and sometimes not. Time slows down during the long exposures. There is nothing to do but watch the scene, the light, the camera. Making an image of the landscape is a treat, a tease, full of wind and rain and impatience and acute awareness and yes even misery. I am never quite certain when to close the shutter and will even say things like,”I will close it when that ship has passed”. The pinhole is forgiving and soft and quiet in the way it gathers light. The camera is unmechanical. No gears. No batteries. Long exposures on color film are lenient and kind. I have not yet tired of the look. I love it that time is recorded in various ways: big waves slapping the shore are smoothed out, cars often do not show up even with the lights on, trees bend and sway and become blurs. People seem to peer through mists, faded.
I value memory and time in photography more than factual recording because what is fact but memory influenced by time. The image, at which I have looked often for an hour or two while it being recorded, is not seen immediately by me. It is a gift to hold the image in my head and to hope that it will be half of what I have seen. I like this slow approach. I need distance between me and the surprise that the image always is. The world is full of mishaps and happy accidents. Life is steady between its ups and downs, just as these images steady me between the exposing and the printing. I am beginning to understand their beautiful imperfections. The featured image was one of my first long exposures, from the Lost Coast of California, looking down on the Mattole River as it enters the Pacific Ocean. It is two negatives both exposed for about 20 minutes.