Adam Parker Smith
discovered on Broadway in a shop window at night.
Photographs from Joel Sternfeld's Oxbow Archive
from the Exhibtion Catalogue description -
In 1836, the landscape painter and conservationist Thomas Cole completed "View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm (The Oxbow)," his iconic painting of the Connecticut River where it bends like an ox yoke. Some 200 years later, Joel Sternfeld walked into the field depicted in the lower right quadrant of Cole's painting - which he'd first photographed in 1978 while travelling for his seminal American Prospects series - & began making almost daily images. By 2006, the oxbow in the river was crossed by an interstate highway, realizing Cole's worst fears of the impact of progress. This exhibit collects 77 quietly haunting photos Sternfeld made over the next 1 1/2 years.
More Sternfeld photos >
Navigate the images via the tiny cursors in the middle below the image.
From Lens Culture:
NAMI is a series of photos of waves around the shores of Sado Island in Japan. The photographer, a young Buddhist monk named Syoin Kajii, watches the water patiently, waiting for a moment of surprise.
We discussed his work via email. Here is an excerpt of our conversation:
JC: Do you feel a strong connection between the way you make photographs and your practice as a Buddhist monk?
SK: Basically I'd like to separate my religion and photography. I sometimes feel, however, there is some kind of similarity in practicing and reciting Buddist sutras and in being concentrated to photograph waves.
JC: It seems natural to see references in your work to the Japanese wood block art prints of waves from long ago. Do you see your work as a continuation of that artistic tradition?
SK: I've never consciously photographed waves with reference to the wood block prints, nor intended to work as a continuation of the tradition. The temple I live in now on Sado Island commands a bird's eye view of the sea naturally, and while overlooking the view everyday, I found fatherly strongness and motherly tenderness in the sea, and it fostered me to photograph NAMI.
JC: Can you describe how you prepare for making photos like those in your NAMI series? Do you consult tidal charts and wait for high tide? Do you shoot a lot of frames? How long do you stay planted by your camera at each location – several hours or more?
SK: All the pictures of the NAMI series were taken around Sado Island, where I currently live. The coast of the Island is about 270 km, and I choose places to photograph based on the information from weather forecasts or news from fishermen.
Using a digital camera, I photograph waves by staying in the water, or going down on the rocky seaside. I often stay there like that about 5 ~ 6 hours, but normally I try to capture the very moment I was somehow startled, so it's not only targeted to just high waves.
JC: What are the qualities of waves that attract you to them?
SK: That would be perhaps because they have variety of expressive faces (like fatherly power and motherly generosity).
JC: Some of your photographs of waves make them look threatening, dangerous, dark, ominous and frightening. Others make the waves seem like graceful dancers — powerful, but beautiful and full of poetic gesture. Do you see this as a dual nature?
SK: Well... Waves (or in other words Nature) should have various aspects.
Everyone has one or several spirit animals that help them out. My animals include a wolf, a stag beetle, a lion, a triceratops, a jerboa, and a jaguar shark. They help guide me in life and aid me in accomplishing my goals i.e. foraging, running fast, being fuzzy, being dangerous. Please check out these totally great "web sites" to learn more about your totem animal(s).
Cycle of Power
Native American Totems & Their Meanings
Warning: one of these websites contains "animated gifs" and asks for your money. Keep your money. Just click on the animal links.